Fla. AG candidate: Ban off-shore drilling

John O'Brien May 4, 2010, 7:18pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida lawmaker and attorney general hopeful Dan Gelber wants Gov. Charlie Crist to call a special legislative session to discuss banning off-shore drilling in the wake of the recent British Petroleum explosion and oil spill.

Gelber, a Democrat, wrote Crist Tuesday, according to a report in the St. Petersburg Times. Current Attorney General Bill McCollum is one of five Gulf State AGs who recently met in Alabama to talk strategy.

The leak stems from a series of explosions on April 20 at BP's Mississippi Canyon #252, an off-shore drilling site approximately 52 miles from Venice, La. The explosion occurred on an off-shore platform known as Deepwater Horizon, which BP leased from Transocean, Ltd. Eleven people were killed in the explosion and several others were injured.

"We must... move with speed to introduce a constitutional amendment that would ban the practice of near shore oil drilling," Gelber wrote, according to the report.

"If the last few weeks have taught us anything, it's that the risks associated with drilling will never outweigh the money offered by Big Oil, no matter how much they pump into the political system or offer the state. We need to put the oil drilling debate in our rear view mirror and move on."

BP officials, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said, assured the attorneys general that "any responsible claim will be compensated." BP announced Monday that it "takes responsibility for responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," where 5,000 barrels of hydrocarbons are leaking into the Gulf of Mexico each day, and promised to "pay all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs."

Gelber wrote that he also wants to "tackle public corruption and ethics and transparency of government" during the proposed session.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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