Sunday, September 27, 2009

Meet Speaker Dean Cannon

Incoming Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon is aggressively pushing for drilling off the coast of Florida. Cannon went as far as to tell Visit Florida, the state agency to promote tourism, that offshore drilling will not hinder tourism. If you really believe that then find ten people who went to to beach in Houston, Texas.

Board member Robert Skrob put a damper on Cannon's sale pitch.

An underwater pipeline owned by Shell leaked 58,000 gallons of crude oil. The spill occurred 30 miles off the Louisiana coast.

"We don't see it (offshore drilling) as safe within 30 miles of the coast," said Skrob, executive director of the Tallahassee-based Florida Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

If we are to take Cannon's proposal seriously (which we should not) then it would take five to ten years to build rigs and start production. The gas and crude oil would be sold all over the world. The gas would not be sold at the local service station and magically lower prices. Cannon isn't even talking about how to collect revenue from oil companies. It makes no sense to have offshore rigs and not place a tax on the industry. The Florida government would collect no revenue and be financial liable for any spill.

Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University found there are only 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Gulf of Mexico. 90 percent of Gulf of Mexico's oil has already been recovered. Other oil is too deep for drilling. What the companies want are the offshore leases. Companies can huckster people buying shares for speculative oil trading. Finding oil won't be necessary to make money.

Cannon's obsession with offshore drilling is noteworthy. Follow the Money shows Cannon is a lobbyist's best friend. Cannon raised $68,900 from individuals and $198,779 from institutions. Lobbyists paid for Cannon's seat. The Speaker can hardly say he was placed in his position by the people.

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