The Shifting Politics of Oil: Rep. Vern Buchanan

Rep. Vern Buchanan
TAMPA (2010-06-22) -

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R- Sarasota, has always maintained a strong anti-drilling position. After the spill, he proposed a moratorium on all present and future efforts to drill off Florida's shores.

Before the spill: Buchanan is one of the few Florida GOP members to remain consistent in his anti-offshore drilling position.

After President Obama announced his plan for increased drilling in the Gulf, but before the spill, Buchanan said opening Florida's Gulf coast threatens the state's tourism economy, which relies on its famous beaches.

"The President's plan is flawed because it fails to open the Alaskan and Pacific coasts to drilling but allows oil rigs off the eastern Gulf of Mexico, threatening our natural resources and tourism-based economy," Buchanan said.

~ Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 5/5/10

After the spill: Buchanan is calling for an "iron-clad" moratorium on all deepwater drilling permits for both new and existing oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Although I agree with your focus on making the country more energy independent, the recent disaster off the Gulf coast is proof that despite its claims, the oil industry is incapable of preventing catastrophic spills from occurring," wrote Buchanan in a letter to the President.

~ Bradenton.com, 5/28/10

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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