Posted by: reefrescue | July 20, 2010

Florida Legislature denies voters right to decide oil drilling ban

Florida Legislature rejects oil drilling ban vote, adjourns

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House abruptly adjourned a special legislative session after 49 minutes Tuesday, rejecting Gov. Charlie Crist’s proposal to let voters place a permanent ban on offshore drilling in the Florida Constitution.

The party-line vote to adjourn the session was 67-44, with Republicans supporting adjournment and Democrats in favor of continuing the debate.

A heckler from the visitors’ gallery shouted that all 67 were “in the pocket of BP.”

The Senate adjourned at 2:20 p.m. with an 18-16 vote.

Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul began the session at 12:02 p.m. and promptly rejected Crist’s call for the referendum. Instead, Cretul criticized the nonpartisan governor for his “surprise proclamation” calling lawmakers back to Tallahassee on short notice.

The Audobon Society called it a “sobering display of the petroleum industry’s influence in the political process at the expense of the people of Florida.” For me it’s an outrage and a call to action for “average voters.” 

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