Florida Declared to Be Louisiana Long Enough to Drill for Oil

The folks who brought you the, “we’ll act if someone committed a crime” distinction as well as the constantly morphing justification for war in Iraq now have a whole new standard in sleight of hand.

They’re calling Florida Louisiana for purposes of drilling for oil.

Anyone doubting that George Bush is just a money- and power-grubbing sham should come on down to the Sunshine State. And check with his brother, Jeb and loyal minion, Sen. Mel Martinez, while you’re at it. The “honesty” president didn’t bother to clue them in on his end run.

St. Petersburg Times:

With final negotiations over the massive federal energy bill almost finished, the Bush administration caught some of its most loyal Florida supporters by surprise with a last-minute attempt to open more of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling…

Martinez said Tuesday that both he and the governor were upset the White House hadn’t warned them about the proposal. Gov. Bush declined to comment about what he knew in advance.

Martinez first learned of it late last week from Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., a strong proponent of gulf drilling. Landrieu showed him a memo detailing Interior Secretary Gale Norton’s plan to redraw the state boundaries, to give more of the eastern gulf to Louisiana and open it to drilling.

The plan – which only a Republican could love – involves redrawing state boundaries to make the area just east of Tampa Bay part of the Big Easy. Still, Sen. Mel’s perplexed quote is one for the record books.

“I was surprised the administration took this position so aggressively,” Martinez said. “…The question is how you really define Florida.”

Yes, how DO you define Florida? After all, both Louisiana and Florida have alligators. They both have shrimp boats. And there’s really not much difference between Ybor City and the French Quarter, accents aside. What the hey, Louisiana, you can have Tampa!

Martinez was so moved by the deceit that he actually uttered a negative word about a Republican initiative – to “inventory” oil reserves – in public.

Miami Herald:

”Florida’s coastlines are in danger,” said U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida. “The inventory tarnishes the entire energy bill, and I think this is a precursor to drilling.”

Strong stuff for the guy who up to now was considered an administration flunky all the way.

The plans are truly a bummer. Besides the certainty of oil spills once drilling starts, the exploration process itself is a disgrace.

… powerful air guns send explosive shock waves into the seabed, emitting high-frequency and low-intensity sounds into the water.

The sound waves that bounce back…can be deafening for fish, and can destroy the air-filled bladders that help them navigate and disrupt the migration of marine mammals such as whales and dolphins.

The tests are expected to, “harm marine mammals and fisheries from the Keys to Apalachicola Bay.” And that’s pretty well the entire Florisiana coast.


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