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News Section: State Government



Governor Crist Wants Special Session for Amendment Banning Offshore Drilling

Special session could happen as early as May 24

Published Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:00 am

TALLAHASSEE Governor Charlie Crist told reporters at the governor's mansion that he wants a special session to discuss a proposed constitutional ban on drilling for oil off Florida's coast and tax incentives to utilities to diversify and explore alternative energy. Crist implied that the timing for a vote is very favorable, as it would be quite difficult for legislators to justify a vote against a ban, in light of the ongoing gulf oil spill.

 

Crist has also named two former state attorney generals to an advisory legal team, in case the state is forced to sue oil giant BP over the spill. Jim Smith and Bob Butterworth will join Crist, himself a former sate attorney general, in heading up a team of top attorneys to discuss options, should BP not fulfill their commitment to cover the entire cost of the oil cleanup.

 

Since the disaster, Crist, who had previously been in favor of offshore drilling, has made considerable effort to convey his newfound opposition. After dropping out of the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Senator Mel Martinez, Crist announced he would run as an independent candidate. With Republican candidate Marco Rubio maintaining his support for drilling in Florida waters, Crist separates himself from the former Florida House Speaker on the divisive issue, joining Democratic candidate and U.S. Congressman Kendrick Meeks in opposition. Signing the amendment would help bolster Crist's credibility as being against offshore drilling.

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