Meek supports Constitutional ban on offshore drilling in Florida waters
In dozens of countries and all fifty states last Saturday, people came together to join Hands Across the Sand to oppose offshore oil drilling and to support renewable energy.
At one event in St. Petersburg, WMNF spoke with U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek who says he supports amending the Florida Constitution to forbid drilling in state waters.
"Well I'm in support of standing with Floridians on this whole issue of offshore oil drilling. It's important that we don't expand it, especially now. We don't know how safe it's going to be. I'm glad that I've stood for all of my years in not only the Congress, but also the State Legislature against offshore oil drilling. I think it's important that we stand with Floridians that stand everyday against this kind of activity. And now we have oil in the Gulf and unfortunately heading in this direction. If we don't get this hole plugged more sooner than later, it's going to effect even the beaches that we're standing on now."
"And you called for special legislature session, for the Offshore Amendment in Florida today, at offshore drilling in state waters."
"That's correct. We have worked on that issue. We've written not only the governor, but also legislative leaders on the issue. I think it's also important to note that I filed legislation along with Senator Bill Nelson calling for the moratorium of offshore drilling until the investigation is done; until we know it is safe not only in the Gulf, but also in the Atlantic. I think that seeing what the judge's ruling was, striking down the administration's ban on expansion or addition offshore oil drilling, is unfortunate. Hopefully the legislation will move forth so that it will not be just administration, it will be the Congress speaking."
"And what do you think about today; this gathering of people to stop oil drilling? What's your hope for the future?"
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"Well the hope for the future is that we create a new attitude when it comes down to energy. In Florida we're on the front lines of inaction, if we don't deal with the way we're producing energy now. We know that in years to come it's going to be a great opportunity for us to build on electric cars, solar power, biomass, you name it, wind power, in helping us meet some of our energy needs. People that are standing here today are leaders. They are bringing attention to an issue that's so very, very important to Florida. And I look forward to continue to give a strong voice not only out here on this beach, but in the U.S. Senate and carrying the true voice of Floridians. So many jobs are going to be lost out of this oil spill. Already it has effected the upper Gulf areas here in Florida, and I want to make sure that Floridians know that we must do something differently than what we've been doing. It's not our fault but I can tell you that our way of thinking for years, choosing our environment and tourism over oil was the right decision. Now we have to take action to make sure that we move to cleaner burning energy so that we won't be back out here on the beach."