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Obama: "As president, I'll keep the drilling moratorium."

Barack Obama is sked to address the press in a bit in Jacksonville and his campaign says he'll open with a vow to "keep the moratorium in place and prevent oil companies from drilling off Florida’s coasts."

"What wouldn’t do a thing to lower gas prices is John McCain’s new proposal to open up Florida’s coastline to offshore drilling," he said in remarks prepared for delivery. "In what is becoming a bit of a regular occurrence in this campaign, Senator McCain once had a different position on offshore drilling.  And it’s clear why he did – it would have long-term consequences for our coastlines but no short-term benefits since it would take ten years to get any oil.

"Well, the politics may have changed, but the accuracy of his original position hasn’t. Offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today. It would not lower gas prices this summer. It would not lower gas prices this year. In fact, President Bush’s own Energy Department says that we won’t see a drop of oil from this proposal until 2017. It will take a generation to reach full production.  And even then, the effect on gas prices will be minimal at best."

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