The Shifting Politics of Oil: Rep. Connie Mack IV

TAMPA (2010-06-26) -

Rep. Connie Mack IV, R- Cape Coral, has frequently changed his position on whether or not we should be drilling off Florida's coast. While initially opposing the idea, he changed his standing after the spike in gas prices. After the spill, he hasn't made it clear whether or not he opposes a drilling ban in the Gulf.

Before the spill: At first, Mack opposed Rep. Putnam's 2008 drilling bill, which would allow for drilling as close as 50 miles away from the coast.

But Mack changed his position in light of $4 a gallon gas prices, and much pressure from Republicans.

"Circumstances have changed, I have changed, and I believe the people of Florida have changed," he said. "We're facing a serious energy emergency, and we need to take real steps to bolster our energy independence and security," he said.

~ St. Petersburg Times, 6/18/08

After the spill: Despite promoting more domestic drilling, Mack isn't sure whether or not oil production needs to be banned in the Gulf:

"Before we get into a conversation about stopping drilling in the Gulf, we need to have real understanding of what went wrong and what kind of contingency plans there are to put in place so this never happens again," said Mack.

~ Naples Daily News, 6/1/10

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 our politicians stood before, and where they stand now on oil drilling.

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