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Graham urges Scott to 'keep open mind' about drilling off Florida

Former U.S. Sen. and Florida Gov. Bob Graham met with Gov. Rick Scott Friday to present the final report on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill prepared by the national commission on which Graham was co-chairman. After meeting for about 35 minutes in the governor's office, Graham and Scott emerged with homework assignments for each other.

"He gave us some homework assignments, such as seeing if we could facilitate some of the financial transactions that are coming out of this matter," Graham said, after commending Scott for his knowledge of the issue. "I gave him some assignments relative to being the voice for the state of Florida, which was the most economically affected by this spill and therefore has the greatest interest in not having a repetition."

Scott thanked Graham for coming and called the quality of the report "remarkable" given the short turn around time. "We're going to look over this. As you know, both of us care about this great state and we don't want any damage, either environmental or economic damage to happen anymore. We want to make sure we are also treated fairly.

"One of the things we also talked about was how we need to make sure the great state of Florida was treated in this spill but most importantly to make sure this never happens again," Scott said.

Graham said he and Scott did not talk about the future of oil drilling off Florida's coast. Graham has been a long-time opponent of drilling in Florida's state and federal waters while Scott said during the campaign that he supported oil drilling off Florida's coast if it was done safely.

“I don’t know what the governor’s position is on this,'' Graham said. "If I could, I just ask him to keep an open mind and consider all the aspects of it."

Scott responded: "I think we agree. Neither of us want an any drilling unless we are very comfortable it’s going to be safe. We can’t afford the environmental damage or the economic damage to our state. So what I’ve said all along, and I think Gov. Graham also believes, we’ve got to be very cautious. One of the things about this report is making sure we know what the safeguards are."

The federal oil spill commission final report released on Tuesday contains recommended the industry to change its safety culture and urged government to impose new reforms.

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