The Shifting Politics of Oil: Rep. Kendrick Meek

Rep. Kendrick Meek
Rep. Kendrick Meek says he's the only consistent opponent of drilling in the Florida U.S. Senate race.
TAMPA (2010-8-3) -

U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Kendrick Meek has consistently held a position against offshore drilling. On his website, the Florida Democrat champions himself as being the only candidate to not “flip-flop” on the issue.

“The recent disaster in the Gulf just underscores the need for a moratorium on any new offshore drilling, but Charlie Crist is busy flip-flopping his stance and Marco Rubio refuses to rule drilling out,” Meek’s Web site says.

In 2003, Meek was one of 100 U.S. House members to sign a letter urging congressional leaders not to open Florida's coastline to offshore drilling. He signed a similar letter in 2005, and in 2006.

He also voted in 2006 against a proposal to allow oil and gas exploration within 50 to 100 miles of most coastlines, and within 234 miles of Tampa Bay.

Furthermore, in 2007 Meek voted against an amendment that would have lifted a drilling moratorium off the Eastern seaboard from Florida to Delaware starting 3 miles off the shore.

However, on Sept. 16, 2008, Meek voted yes on the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill included a provision that would have allowed oil drilling 50 miles beyond shores.

The bill never got passed.

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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