Should there be oil drilling along Florida coast?

06/18/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

At a Tampa Downtown Partnership meeting today, WMNF spoke with business people and elected officials about the possibility of drilling for oil off the coast of Florida.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio told WMNF she opposes drilling off the state’s coast. Iorio questioned the wisdom of constructing oil rigs there, especially considering how dependent the state is on tourism.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita said she was open to the idea floated by Sen. John McCain and supported by Gov. Charlie Crist. Ferlita said if drilling happens, she would ask what kind of protections there would be for the environment.

Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern summarized her opinion on whether there should be oil drilling off Florida’s coast in one word, “no.”

WMNF spoke with members of the business community as well. Several people were unwilling to comment on the record, but some of those who did said they need more information before they could decide for sure.

Attorney Elana Sbarro said, "…I would really like to get more information and then make an informed decision."

Jay Allison is with the air conditioning company Tampa Bay Trane. “We need to be looking at all options.”

Julie Palmer is the director of sales at the Florida State Fairgrounds and said she feels "conflicted."

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No, Gulf drilling is a very temporary answer. We need to decrease our use of oil. Drive fule efficient. Drive less. Drive more efficient.

Please don't ruin Florida's beautiful white sand b

As a Florida native, I am very saddened to hear the proposal to even be raised. I have been to California where they drill off shore, and the Pacific beaches are disgusting. You can't walk on them without getting black tar on the bottoms of your feet. I would never allow my children to go any where near that stuff. Florida has such beautiful beaches, I would really hate to see them be destroyed.


I don't know where in California the previous poster visited, but I know for a fact that the new methods used for drilling leaves the environment just as it was found. If there had been such spills as the previous poster stated, we would have heard about it over and over again. Do your research first and help our families hard cash for fuel!


Ever see what happens to a city when its thriving industry goes down the tubes...look at Flint,MI for example...without tourism and fishing industry Florida will surely sink! Millions rely on our beaches and clean ocean water for there means of income. Don't let the greed of Big Oil fool you! Gas is $4 a gallon and is goin to stay that way for ever....I'm afraid we will never see cheap gas again....its ok we will grow and adapt like we always have....but please dont let this happen! VOTE NO on offshore drilling for Florida!


What makes you think that our beaches are somehow affected? Does California suffer from lack of tourism? Oily beaches? You people are living in fantasyland if you want to continue to pay for foreign oil. The price is now $4.00...what will it be in 5 years, 10 years? When will it cost too much in order to justify the drilling? Who in their right mind compares MICHIGAN to FLORIDA? Drilling 50 miles off shore is invisible to the eye and will cause ZERO damage to the beaches! A FLORIDIAN.

Not so fast Sparky!

Zero damage? Have I got your guarantee on that? And what is it with people justifying drilling in the Gulf with $4. a gallon gas? No matter how much is pumped out we don't get to keep our "Florida oil"! It goes to the world market and will be sucked up by the developing nations of China, India, etc., leaving us with what??...$4. a gallon gas AND a polluted Gulf! By the way, what part of Tampa Bay should they build the refinery in to handle the new demand?

Response to Prodriller

I hope you're proud to have supported the devastating and catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As far as my credibility goes, I lived in Santa Barbara, CA. I've done my research, apparently today it's been proven you didn't do yours.