Sen. Bill Nelson's adviser, Dan McLaughlin, declined all day and night to comment on yesterday's story about challenger Connie Mack's pipeline-petition plan, but the Republican's last quote in the story provoked the Democrat to comment in an email with the headline "come on ...":
Nelson is staunchly opposed to offshore drilling ... . Mack has a different view.
“I have always said that I would be for drilling,” Mack said. “But I think that’s an issue the state should have a say in — in determining how far it’s going to be off the coast of Florida. We ought to allow the state to have a say in that decision.”
Previous Mack quotes:
“We all understand that America must find new sources of energy. But drilling off Florida’s sensitive coast won’t solve the nation’s current energy challenges and it won’t put us on a path toward achieving energy independence."
“Make no mistake, drilling for oil and gas off Florida's fragile coastline is a risky scheme that jeopardizes our environment and our economy. It won't reduce the price at the pump and it won't reduce our dependency on foreign oil. That's why the 285-mile buffer has been in place for years and why it should remain intact for many more years to come.
“All of us want to ensure that the United States has the energy supplies we need now and in the future, and Congress needs to take real steps to help reduce the sky-high gas prices that are hurting millions of hardworking families. But allowing drilling off Florida’s pristine coastline won’t reduce America’s pain at the pump. Instead of taking steps that will expose Florida’s fragile environment and our economy to severe and irreparable harm, we would be better served by expanding America’s refining capabilities, investing in new energy technologies, furthering commercial and consumer adoption of more energy efficient products, and increasing conservation.”
“We are writing to express our grave concern regarding legislative efforts to weaken the existing offshore drilling ban off Florida’s fragile coastline. As you know, the existing ban, which has had strong bi-partisan support, was put in place to protect Florida’s highly fragile ecosystem. Eliminating the drilling ban poses a clear danger to our environment and an economy that are inextricably linked.