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News Section: State Government

Representative Galvano Hopes Oil Catastrophe Will Force Examination of Energy Alternatives

Published Friday, May 7, 2010 4:00 am

Bradenton -- The recent catastrophe that followed the explosion of an off-shore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has led many politicians and voters to reconsider their stance on a perennial hot-button topic: Should we drill for oil off the shores of Florida?


Governor Charlie Crist, once a proponent of off-shore drilling, announced a reversal on the issue following the disaster. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger revoked his support for drilling off the coast of California, as well. Senatorial candidate Kendrick Meeks reminded voters that he alone among the three politicians vying for the Florida seat vacated by Senator Martinez, has been against offshore drilling from the start. Marco Rubio has stubbornly continued to pledge his support for drilling in Florida waters.

For District 68 House Representative Bill Galvano, it’s a simple matter of common sense.


“For me it’s a question of worth. I’ve not been able to find a meaningful nexus between drilling in the gulf and the price of oil. I just don’t see a reason to risk our waters for something that is unlikely to have a profound effect on our energy supply.”


Estimates indicate that there is only enough reachable oil in the Gulf of Mexico to satisfy U.S. demand for about two weeks. Since oil is sold on a world market, it is clear that even significant increases in drilling would have little impact on oil independence or prices at the pump.


“This has been an utter catastrophe,” said Galvano. “If one good thing comes from this, I hope that it accelerates the conversation on alternative fuels.”


Galvano praised efforts to increase solar output, but conceded much more needs to be done. He also acknowledged missteps in bio-fuel investment and despite the public fear of radioactive material produced by nuclear energy, feels that it needs to be examined more closely.


“The energy issue is very complex and I think we need to have a broad conversation that examines all of the alternatives. People tend to be apprehensive about nuclear energy, but there have been tremendous strides made there and I think we need to take a look.”

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