Window Closes on Drilling Ban


That screeching sound you hear is the window of opportunity closing on an offshore drilling ban, and we’re not talking about in Louisiana. A new poll out from a couple of TV stations, the St. Pete Times and the Miami Herald indicates support for a ban is fading, even in the Panhandle.

We can likely credit concern over those petro-jobs in a weak economy, a short attention span and some concern over gas prices at the pump. But some blame (or, I guess for some, credit if you’re British Petroleum) has to go to the relentless “it’s all over” story being pushed in the media.

Look, plenty of peple “in power” have strong motivation to have this thing over: Politicians have November elections looming and the oil companies have hundreds of lawsuits. So as shrimpers and others report lots of oil and lots of trouble, the national attention moves on.

I suspect it’s telling that one person in the study, a 66-year-old independent voter, said of Florida’s Gov. Crist: “He was crying wolf about the spill and it barely touched Florida at all.” Well, that’s just wrong. I have many friends and clients who most certainly were “touched” as the oil spill erased the economy, and the jury is still out on possible long-term environmental impacts.

You can check out details of this important poll here:

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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