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We don't want an oil rig disaster here

Editorial, St. Petersburg Times, April 23, 2010

Don't let this ...

... happen here

The events this week on Deepwater Horizon oil rig, about 50 miles off Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, should scuttle for good talk of lifting drilling bans in state and federal waters off Florida's coast. Rendered moot now: Blanket assertions by legislative leaders like Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, and Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, that drilling technology has advanced to the point that the risk is minimal.

The fact is, catastrophes can still happen unexpectedly. Deepwater Horizon gives state and congressional lawmakers all the justification they need to stand firm on drilling bans in both state and federal waters. Otherwise they risk explaining, after a disaster, why they picked paltry fiscal and energy gains over the state's beaches and the tourists they draw — including these Canadian children at Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County. Don't let Deepwater happen here.

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