State Politics

Dems oppose closer coastal drilling

Florida’s Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday commending his opposition to the Florida House bill opening the door to Cabinet approval of oil drilling 3-10 miles off Florida’s coasts.

The letter, written by Congressman Alcee Hastings, was signed by Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Alan Grayson, Kendrid Meek, Suzanne Kosmas, Robert Wexler, Corrine Brown, Allen Boyd, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ron Klein.

“We urge you to continue to oppose this bill not only because it will jeopardize the state’s $65 billion tourism industry, which is the lifeblood of our economy, but also because it will do nothing to reduce energy prices,’’ they wrote.

Contacted last Wednesday, Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, said that although the session has been extended into next week, he does not believe that the new drilling limits have any chance of passing the Senate.