Nelson vs. Crist on offshore drilling listen06/17/08 Mitch E. Perry
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John McCain tonight announced he wants to lift the federal moratorium on offshore drilling and allow individual states to decide whether to allow oil and gas exploration.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is among the Democrats denouncing McCain.
McCainâ€™s announcement comes as gas prices are at an all time, leading a majority in a new poll to agree with such a plan. But Nelson took issue with the way the question was asked.
That new poll is a Rasmussen survey released today that showed 67 percent of voters believe drilling should be allowed off the coasts of California, Florida and other states.
Speaking to reporters today, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says he likes McCainâ€™s idea, and says he wonâ€™t rule out letting Florida opt to drill.
The move is considered dangerous politics. McCainâ€™s call has led some analysts to believe that heâ€™s confident that he will carry Florida in the general election in the fall, and thus is equipped for any backlash. Also, conservative columnists and editorial writers have bashed McCain in recent weeks for not taking such a position, arguing that itâ€™s good politics.
But Nelson said it reeked of desperate politics. He also said there is only 10 months of daily U.S. consumption of oil in the Eastern Gulf, not enough to warrant the tradeoffs.