In Print: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Senate President Mike Haridopolos said in an interview broadcast Tuesday that new oil drilling is needed in the Gulf of Mexico, a reversal from last year, when, in the wake of the BP spill, he said Florida was going to "turn the page" away from drilling. In an interview with Newsmax TV, the U.S. Senate candidate said gas prices have changed the paradigm. "We have to start drilling, we need to become more self-dependent," Haridopolos said. "We need to open up those new opportunities in the Gulf and ANWR (the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). Four dollars-plus in gasoline (is) crippling the middle class. … America needs to lead by example." Haridopolos' remarks contrast with what he said in July when he acknowledged after the BP oil spill that his previous push for new drilling in the gulf didn't account for the possibility of a spill. "We tried to look at oil and natural gas production in the gulf. We trusted that, at least in my lifetime … there had not been a major spill," Haridopolos said then. "But guess what? We went to verify the scenario and it didn't work for Floridians."