It would seem that Florida GOP Congressional Candidates could be sacrificial lambs.
First, the House of Representatives passed it’s oil drilling plan. Their plan does have a protection for the Navy and Air Force training area in the eastern gulf… but the Democrats can spin it against all Republicans, even those like Shaw that voted against it.
Now comes word that Senator Mel Martinez has helped broker a compromise in the Senate to keep drilling 125 miles off the coast of Florida. Majority Leader Frist thinks he has the 60 votes to force a vote on the bill.
The plans are vastly different, but the target was Lease Area 181 – that could contain a billion barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. Energy companies have been drooling over this area for years. The only question is going to be what the conference committee report will be… if House and Senate leaders can agree.
Why are we in this position? Because Florida leaders couldn’t get together. It would appear that Florida could have had a much better deal, if only they understood what would happen.
This will be a big issue in the election, and while it will have a profound impact on the close races, it will make most races closer than they should be. Congressmen Shaw and Mica, and Republican candidates in District 9 and 13 should be wary.