Senator Nelson on Gulf Oil Disaster
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06/25/10 Mark Anderson
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U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).


photo by Matthew Cimitile/WMNF (May 2010)

Florida’s senior Senator Bill Nelson gave a press conference this morning in Tampa. The biggest concern he has is the ongoing oil disaster that is damaging Florida’s environment and economy.

Senator Nelson is sounding the alarm: the gulf oil disaster is going to get worse, how much worse no one can predict. But with hurricane season here and a relief well months away, the damage is piling up.

On the subject of a final solution to the disaster, Nelson is confident that BP’s strategy of drilling a pair of relief wells along side the runaway will ultimately be successful, but is frustrated with the months it will take to stop the oil flow.

In the meantime, he is adamantly opposed to further deep water drilling, and any drilling off of Florida’s East Coast. He did indicate that if a complete and accurate analysis of the disaster’s cause is completed, then he could again support gulf drilling.

Nelson believes Florida’s economic recovery is underway, but is lagging the rest of the country, due to the state’s economy being tied to real estate and constriction. He voiced concern that this fragile recovery could be dealt a big setback by the negative impacts on tourism by the oil threat.

The overall economic and ecological impact will depend on how long it takes BP to plug the runaway well, and on the number and severity of tropical storms this season.

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