As emergency responders struggle to contain the devastating economic and ecological effects of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, many fear that the Floridan coastline will be the next ecosystem devastated. A new Mason-Dixon poll released today finds that, in the wake of the oil disaster, 55 percent of Floridians now oppose offshore oil drilling, a complete reversal from polling conducted last year:
In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida voters have reversed their view on drilling off of the state’s coast, according to new poll released by Mason-Dixon. Statewide, only 35% currently support offshore drilling, while a 55% majority are now opposed to it.
That is in stark contrast to a poll conducted 11 months ago, where 55% of the state’s voters were in favor of offshore drilling and only 31% were opposed. Support for drilling peaked at 61% in August 2008, amid the soaring price of gasoline nationwide and rising concerns about energy independence.
Recent Rasmussen polling has found that support for oil drilling among the national public has “fallen dramatically” since the oil spill. Florida’s Sen. Bill Nelson (D) told MSNBC last week that any climate bill that includes new offshore drilling is “dead on arrival” and has pledged to filibuster such a bill.
As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson notes, two state legislators that were supportive of offshore drilling have already reversed their positions.