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FSU Hosts Offshore Drilling Symposium

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By Trimmel Gomes

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-883145.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Scholars at Florida State University get together for a second time for an in depth look at offshore drilling. The "Florida Symposium on Offshore Energy, Part II" examines the inshore challenges of offshore energy prospects. The Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability held part one last November, focusing on oil and gas.

Institute Director David Cartes says he got a lot of feedback from people asking about the environment.

"It was really healthy to know that the citizens of Florida aren't so tied up in the tourism industry that they are going to forget the environment. Very few questions came to me, what's the impact on tourism. It really was the environment for our citizens."

Felecia Coleman is director of FSU's Coastal Marine Lab and chair of the Gulf Ecology panel. She says they really don't have sufficient information to know what the impact would be in order to make an informed decision about drilling.

"That doesn't say whether it's bad or good. It just says there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the ecology of the ocean."

The institute, which was created by the legislature to be an honest broker on the issue, will present a report to lawmakers this month.