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Explore Offshore Launches Florida Campaign

Tom Flanigan

Florida has never allowed oil and natural gas drilling off its coasts. But a new national coalition thinks that needs to change.

Explore Offshore Coalition Co-Chair Jim Nicholson insisted no drilling rigs would be visible from land. “Most of these offshore reserves are the same distance from land as that of Philadelphia and Washington, DC. There’s little or no chance of this exploration being visible from coastal lands,” he told reporters.

Florida Explore Offshore Co-Chair and former Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp believed the chance for another Deepwater Horizon-type spill is vanishingly small.

“Technology is far better than it’s ever been before. We deeply believe that we can do this in a balanced, responsible way to protect the environment of Florida,” he said.

But it’s not just Florida that’s involved. The group says its campaign is targeting other coastal states as well as federal regulators to allow more offshore drilling.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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