State law already bans oil drilling in Florida waters, as millions of gallons of oil meander across the gulf, politicians from both parties are calling for a near permanent constitutional ban on oil drilling.
Once a drilling supporter, Governor Charlie Crist has concluded it can’t be done safe enough or far enough from Florida’s coast.
“I think what’s important is that we all stay focuse,” Crist said. “That we put forth a ban on drilling off the coast of Florida. There’s consensus there that people should have the right to vote on it.”
The Session would also attempt to enact a state energy policy.
The likely timetable for a special session, the last week of May.
The Governor is expected to set the dates for the session by the end of the week, with the agenda including much more than a permanent ban on drilling.
“But I want to talk about wind, nuclear, solar, gas, natural gas,” Crist said.
CFO Alex Sink first called for the ban last week. Attorney General Bill McCollum says it isn’t needed…but will go along with it.
“If you have a special session and the legislature decides to put it on the ballot, so be it,” McCollum said. “I’m against off shore drilling.”
The only opposition is from Associated Industries, which pushed drilling last year.
“This is not the time to do this,” Barney Bishop, with Associated Industries, said. “This is a knee jerk reaction. This is a waste of money to bring the legislators back up.”
But even the powerful lobby organization believes sending the ban to voters is all but a done deal.
If voters do get a say, at least 60 percent would have to approve for it to become effective.