With a giant oil spill nearing the Florida coast, Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) has reversed his 2008 election-season flip-flop on offshore drilling. Crist changed his stance as the U.S. Coast Guard is preparing to set fire to the oil slick caused by the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Louisiana coastline a week ago. In his 2007 inaugural address, Crist pledged to a vision of “coastlines free of oil drilling“:
Clean rivers, beautiful beaches and coastlines free of oil drilling.
However, in 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) flip-flopped on offshore drilling amid the oil industry’s “Drill Baby Drill” campaign. Supporting McCain, Crist “reversed course” and supported the end of the drilling moratorium:
I think that’s a very good place to be. Not having that blanket moratorium and letting states’ rights be recognized is certainly appropriate.
Clearly that one isn’t far enough, and that’s about 50 to 60 miles out. It’s clearly not clean enough after we saw what we saw today — that’s horrific — and it certainly isn’t safe enough. It’s the opposite of safe.
President Barack Obama has not yet indicated whether this offshore drilling disaster has caused him to rethink his own support for expanded drilling.