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Crist says oil spill is 'clean energy argument' and legislators should take note

Gov. Charlie Crist said that while oil drilling off Florida's coast is dead now, because of the oil spill, the threat to Florida's beaches and tourism energy is more reason to rev up the alternative energy debate.

"This is the resurrection of the clean energy argument without a doubt in my mind,'' Crist told reporters Monday. "You've got to have solar. We've got to move more rapidly to develop wind, nuclear as well. If this does not make the case that we've got to have energy resources that are clean, that don't disrupt our environment, I don't know what is. It's exactly that."

"It hasn't happened in Florida, but it happened in Louisiana and we may suffer as a result of it."

He called the "timeliness of this occurring is extraordinary," and inaccurately noted that lawmakers could have taken up up in the final week of session. (The House had prepared legislation but were waiting until next year to take it up.)

"There may have been legislation during that last week that would have permitted this occurring,'' he said. "I've always said as long as it was far enough, clean enough and safe enough that it would be something that I'd be willing to look at. .

"This is not far enough this is not safe enough and it sure as heck is not clean enough. I mean, it's not good enough. Period. So given that, I think all bets are off. We’ve got to cease and desist as it relates to this and we’ve got to further renew our commitment to solar and wind and nuclear and other forms of clean energy and natural gas too. We’ve got a lot of that. It’s a lot cleaner than this stuff.''