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Jeb's oil alternative: drill but preserve the buffer

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, who negotiated the federal-state compromise to keep drilling away from Florida shores, said in an email to the Miami Herald that he supports drilling off Florida with restrictions. His suggestion: reviving the 2006 compromise to create a deep buffer around Florida while lifting the moratorium on domestic oil and gas drilling.

"I support the president's continued advocacy to develop domestic sources of oil and gas with a sense of urgency," Bush said. "This does not diminish the long term need to conserve and develop alternative sources of energy.

"I would encourage Congress to reconsider the common sense plan that Congressman Pombo and I worked on in 2006. The proposal would have provided a 100 mile buffer of permanent protection around the state from Jacksonville to Pensacola and, at the same time, would have opened up millions of acres in the energy rich Central Gulf for new exploration."

See today's Herald on the rising Republican rift over oil driling, and the nuts and bolts questions surrounding drilling off Florida's coast.