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Florida has its say at congressional hearing on oil spill

Bill Nelson -- who is up first -- says "one of my worst nightmares" may be coming true, if crews can't contain the oil spill.

Testifying at the Senate Environment Committee, the Florida Democrat said "if this thing is not stopped, we are looking at a major economic and environmental disaster.

"My question is 'Is it worth the tradeoff to our economy in Florida...for 10 percent of the undiscovered oil in the Gulf of Mexico?" he said of efforts to drill off Florida's coastline. He says MMS -- the agency that oversees the industry -- needs to be cleaned up, saying it has a "sorry record of incestous relationships" with the oil industry. And he says lawmakers should look at raising the industry's liability from $75 million to $10 billion.

Florida Republican George LeMieux -- who unlike Nelson isn't necessarily opposed to drilling -- suggests the Gulf Coast states -- including Florida -- need emergency cash to prepare for the tar balls and oil expected to hit shore.

"Right now states in the Gulf need money to put together mitigation teams and they need substantial dollars to do so," he says, suggesting BP should put up $1 billion for states to set up emergency response teams.

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