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Santorum: Offshore Oil Rigs Are The ‘Best Way’ To Create A ‘Safer Florida’

By Rebecca Leber  

"Santorum: Offshore Oil Rigs Are The ‘Best Way’ To Create A ‘Safer Florida’"

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The Deepwater Horizon disaster ruined Florida's shores.

Since Florida suffered more than $1 billion in loss from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, offshore drilling has been a controversial subject for the state. Rick Santorum was asked last night at the NBC debate why those few thousand drilling jobs are worth the millions of jobs and billions of dollars at risk in the tourism and recreation markets. Instead of answering, Santorum sidelined the question by attacking the president on the Keystone XL pipeline and arguing for more rigs, drilling, and pipelines:

Pipelines are the safe way, building those rigs, into our shores is the best way to create a good economy and a safer Florida.

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But Santorum ignores that more than 1 million people are currently employed by Florida’s tourism economy and recreation contributes $67,595 million annually to the economy and generates 794,841 jobs in the South Atlantic region.

Santorum, however, says this industry is more threatened by high oil prices than by the risk of an oil spill. The question still remains for the GOP candidates why Florida should risk its beaches to save Americans mere pennies in gas prices.

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