18 June, 2008

States weigh options in offshore fight

The Associated Press
Governors in some coastal states promised to block attempts to tap offshore petroleum reserves, citing concerns about the environment and tourism. Others agreed with President Bush's call to lift a 27-year-old federal ban on offshore drilling but said states should decide whether to allow it.

Bush on Wednesday joined Republican presidential candidate John McCain in calling for the lifting of a prohibition on drilling along the East and West coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. As the battle to lift the moratorium began to play out in Washington, states debated their stance.

"As Governor of California, I will do everything in my power to fight the federal government on this issue and prevent any new offshore drilling," Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a McCain supporter, said Wednesday.

Another McCain ally, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, reversed his opposition to oil exploration off the state's beaches after the presidential candidate said he supported lifting the moratorium. Crist said the issue is about local control.

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