The Shifting Politics of Oil: Rep. Bill Young

TAMPA (2010-06-15) -

Rep. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, has gone from being opposed to most drilling in the eastern Gulf, to willing to allow drilling 100 miles off Florida's coast, to being against most drilling off the coast again.

Before the Spill:

In general, Young has opposed drilling near Florida's coast, often citing military training needs in the Gulf.

But that opposition softened when oil prices soared to $4 a gallon. In 2008, he said he would approve of drilling as close as 100 miles off Florida's coast, as opposed to 234 miles now.

At the time, Young asked the Defense Department to outline in writing how much of the eastern Gulf it really needs.

"If they don't need that much protection for their military training activities, then I'm willing to negotiate," Young said. "Because 234 miles off our coast I don't think is necessary to protect our beaches."

~ St. Petersburg Times, 8/8/08

After the Spill:

Young joined Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, to ask President Obama to back off his plan to allow offshore drilling closer to Florida's coast.

They want to keep in place a 234 mile limit on drilling off much of Florida's Gulf coast.

~ Tampabay.com, 4/28/10

Young: "Throughout my tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives I have taken a backseat to no one when it comes to ensuring that our coastal waters and beaches remain pristine. In fact, it was my amendment to a 1983 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill that put in place the first moratorium off Pinellas County and the Gulf Coast of Florida."

~ http://www.pinellasrepublicans.com/

CLICK HERE to listen to Young testify to Congress in 2006 about oil drilling.

From "Drill, Baby, Drill" to "Spill, Baby, Spill" - the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf has some elected leaders and political candidates scrambling to point out their opposition to offshore drilling - even if they once thought it was a good idea. WUSF has determined where Florida's politicians stood before, and where they stand now on oil drilling.

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