Drilling Support Waning

Like a slow motion nightmare, the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico continues to grow. Millions of gallons are hovering near Louisiana and most experts agree Florida won’t remain unscathed.

The leak is beginning to change opinions about offshore oil drilling.

The latest Mason Dixon poll shows 55 percent of Floridians oppose the plan

In 2008, when gas was four dollars a gallon 60 percent of Floridians supported coastal drilling.

Audubon of Florida is happy to see support waning.

“The potential for a spill that is miles and miles off a neighboring state’s coast having very real potential to change that way of life for us, and Floridians recognize having a spill that far away could have those kinds of implications, what could a spill three miles off our coast do,” said Julie Wraithmell, with Audubon of Florida.

But there’s still not enough opposition to pass a constitutional ban on drilling.

35 percent of Floridians are still in support.

Kelly O’Brien is one of them. O’Brien believes once the cause of the accident is fully understood, drilling will become safer.

“I think this is just a setback and it’s discouraging, but I think that it’s very shortsighted to say let’s give up drilling in the Gulf Coast,” said O’Brien.

If lawmakers do put a ban in front of voters in November and the appetite for drilling doesn’t change, the plan could die at the ballot box.

Environmentalists say once people begin seeing an impact on Florida beaches they expect to see support for drilling to fall even lower.


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