BRAVO!Read in the Sarasota Herald Tribune - September 23, 2009
Sarasota County opposes drilling
Sarasota County commissioners voted unanimously to make stopping a proposed offshore drilling bill a legislative priority in 2010. Pristine beaches should trump oil exploration, Sarasota County leaders said Tuesday in opposing any oil exploration in Florida waters. Oil drilling promises to be a major issue in the upcoming state legislative session.
Top legislators -- most from inland counties -- are pushing a plan to allow oil exploration within 10 miles of the shore. The County Commission voted unanimously to make stopping the oil bill a legislative priority in 2010. Commissioners even changed the language of the resolution to remove any ambiguity.
It now reads: "Do not pursue offshore drilling in Florida waters." "I would support that," said Commissioner Nora Patterson. "Pretty straight," added Commissioner Shannon Staub. Instead of oil, the county's legislative agenda calls on state leaders to support alternative energy options like solar energy and to "build a green economy through aggressive energy policies."
The Legislature did not pass a major renewable energy bill proposed by Gov Charlie Crist last year. Crist's proposal -- known as a renewable portfolio standard -- would force power companies to generate a percentage of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar energy.
I agree. Leave our beaches alone. Our oceans and water are already enough polluted. And our agonizing coral reefs are desperately asking for a break.