The Shifting Politics of Oil: Marco Rubio

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio
TAMPA (2010-8-6) -

Marco Rubio was and continues to be a staunch supporter of offshore drilling, although he refuses to say whether he supports a drilling ban in Florida’s territorial waters.

He made English and Spanish-language videos for the “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” coalition in 2008.

“A small minority of people oppose this, and do so on grounds that are not factually based,” he said, before urging voters to sign a petition demanding more offshore oil drilling.

While announcing his oil spill recovery plan in Tampa on July 13, he said that stopping domestic energy production would be crippling to our economy.

When Rubio was asked whether he would support drilling as close as three miles to Florida shore, he told WUSF’s Steve Newborn, “Our production now doesn't require it to be drilled off Florida's coasts…I think there’s pros and cons to it. That can be debated by the Legislature whether it can be done safely or not.”

He said that existing oil and gas production in the Gulf should be allowed to continue in areas where it is already allowed.

He refused to directly answer whether he supported drilling off Florida’s coast.

“What I’m talking about is our existing drilling capacity in the Gulf, and to take (that) off the table right now would devastate the economy,” he said.

Rubio said he opposed Gov. Crist’s failed special session to put a constitutional ban of drilling off Florida’s coast before the state’s voters.

"I don't believe it belongs in the Constitution. The Florida Constitution is already full of all sorts of things that don't belong in there."

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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