April 29th, 2010
03:12 PM ET
11 years ago

Florida senator calls for temporary halt to offshore drilling plans

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida called Thursday for a halt to exploratory oil operations in coastal waters and said he plans to introduce legislation to block expanded off-shore drilling while authorities investigate the explosion and fire that sank an oil rig in the Gulf Coast.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Nelson said the potential environmental and economic damage from the current spill required immediate preventive actions until the cause is discovered.

"Until we learn what happened, I'm asking that you also call for an immediate halt of test wells and all other exploratory operations in coastal waters," said the letter from Nelson, a Democrat.

In addition, Nelson said he would file legislation "that would for the time being prohibit the Interior Department from acting on your administration's plans to expand offshore drilling, including seismic testing and other exploratory operations."

The prohibition would exclude producing wells, the letter said.

Filed under: Florida
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. geecee

    Thank you, Senator Nelson. There are some decent, sane human beings in Congress after all.

    April 29, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Monrob

    NO, no, no. Let's keep on drilling. We need to run our SUV's. Who cares what happens when we have a disaster.

    Drill, baby, dril.

    April 29, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Palin & Bachmann One coin, Two Sides

    Don't hear much of that highly partisan drill, baby drill drivel now ... do we?

    Republican politicians are so full of it. They care nothing about the environment. They are only capable of vacuous statements that are designed to appeal to the least informed among us.

    Ms. So-called "Energy Expert", you know who I'm talking about, spouted off during the election that off shore drilling was safe. Well, here is yet another example that she doesn't know what the ... "H" ... "E" ... "double hockey sticks" ... she was talking about.

    I hope the people of Mississippi and Louisiana are smart enough to remember how they embraced her and how that drill baby drill thing is "working out for ya".

    April 29, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Albert R. Killackey, Kill the Drill, Kill the Drill...

    In a related story, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Maybe we should not light this oil slick on fire, I mean, just imagine Katrina's big sister fanning the flames.... Hell Fire!

    April 29, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Smart move Sen. Nelson. Where's Drill Baby Drill Baby Sarah at? I guess we can call her Spill Baby Baby Spill Sarah now.

    April 29, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Dano

    A temporary moratorium?? Senator Nelson as a Floridian I can think of no better reason for a PERMANENT moratorium on off-shore drilling in Florida's coastal waters. This should put to rest the "Drill, baby, Drill" people's arguments about how safe extracting oil has become. If this had happened 50 miles off our coast the tourism industry we depend on would be ruined for decades...all for what experts said would produce at most enough oil to supply the country's needs for a few WEEK's. As the spill spreads and oil starts coming ashore in Louisiana's and Mississippi's coastal estuaries you're going to have an ecological disaster to rival the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska which is still not completely cleaned up over 20 years later!

    April 29, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. DIANA

    HEAR HEAR! If this isn't an arguement for alternative energy instead of drill baby drill, I don't know what is.

    I can't even imagine the impact this will have on the envoriment. Or how long this will affect our planet.

    April 29, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Wait a minute! I've got a brilliant plan that will kill 2 birds with 1 stone. First dig a big trench along the US/Mexico border. Next divert the gulf oil spill into it. Then light the oil on fire. Oil spill gone, border secure. That was easy, wasn't it? Have a nice day!

    April 29, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Odalice feliz

    I think is a good Idea to protect our enviroment, we also have to deal with global warming......

    April 29, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. SC Ex-Pub

    Louisana, how is that "drill baby drill working out for you? You bet'cha old John and Millioniare Elitist Sarah will help clean up your mess!

    April 29, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    For years Conservationists have said this sort of problem is why drilling should not take place off shore.
    It's a shame a disaster has to take place before people pay attention.
    How's that "drilly thing" workin for ya, Sarah?

    April 29, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. What is say Sarah Palin going to say now about drilling?

    Sarah, I dare you to say, "DRILL BABY DRILL!" now...

    Say it, I dare you...

    April 29, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Patty Patriot

    Just one tragic explosion (under very mysterious circumstances on earth day) does not make all drilling undesriable. Either everyone needs to give up all of their gas powered equipment or start drilling here in the USA. This is not a call to stop 'drill here drill now' this is a call to find out who caused this explosion.

    April 29, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Albert R. Killackey

    How's that "Drill Baby Drill' workin' out for ya?

    April 29, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Marilyn

    I agree with Senator Nelson 100%.

    I also hope the damage from this is to Louisiana and Texas, since they are the states that benefit most from offshore drilling. And their beaches are also already nasty! Hopefully, the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches in Florida will be spared.

    April 29, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Dar

    My God, one accident in 20 years and every tree hunging liberal comes running out of the woodworks.

    Is this a horrible accident, HELL YES but it was an accident, most of you people have a very simple and closed mind about things.
    You act as if all drilling should be stopped and we should use electric and wind and solar.........................This would be great but we are not there yet people, we still need oil to run this country right now.
    If we stop exploring for oil so we can be more dependent on ourselfs and stop depending on other countries to supply us were are in trouble. You like the way gas prices are now????? Try 6 to 8 dollars a gallon boys and girls.

    Nelson is doing this for a vote by tree hunging idiots like most of you on here. Wake up to the real world.

    We need to find out what happened and do what is needed to correct what went wrong and make saftey requirements that would stop the flow of oil from a well if something like this would happen again.

    Grow up

    April 29, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. D. Bunker

    Spill, baby, spill! You betcha!

    April 29, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. FL

    Grow up. stuff happens deal with it. we can't drill, we can't have nuclear power, we can't burn coal. your all two-faced. You are using power now to babbel about how bad power is. There is no real alternative to oil and coal. Anyone with half a brain knows wind, solar and wave energy plans are a pipe dream that will leave us in the dark literally. Grow up and live in reality.

    April 29, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Bruce & John Hornsby

    Barren Ground Lyrics
    B. R. Hornsby/John Hornsby

    There were people living in a green valley
    Found a way to make a lot of money
    Made the green turn gradually gray
    They figured they could do whatever they wanted
    Everything would be alright
    But scars don't always heal away
    And the sons and the daughters got diamonds and gold
    But they were given a land where
    Strong roots never take hold

    Good seed don't grow
    On the barren ground
    Good things don't come along
    As you just sit dreaming on
    Good seed don't grow
    On the barren ground
    Say everything fades away
    There you are still around
    What'll you do where will you go

    Ther was a ship along the coast
    Carrying a load of black money
    In the sound near the northern lights
    When the ship set sail
    The crew looked for guidance
    In the bottom of an empty glass
    Then the captain said pour me another rye
    Then the water turned black as that cold winter's night

    Good seed don't grow
    On the barren ground
    Good things don't come along
    As you just sit dreaming on
    Good seed don't grow
    On the barren ground
    Say everything fades away
    There you are still around
    What'll you do where will you go


    April 29, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Liz the First

    Have to agree with him on this one! what happened in the gulf on Earth Day, of all days, should give any sane person pause. the damage done by this disaster will far outweigh any benefits of the oil. no beaches were ever damaged by a wind spill! the NIMBY crowd need to get over it when it comes to wind turbines. i, personally, think they're absolutely beautiful. no, they won't give us all the energy we need, we need to go to next gen nuclear plants for that.

    April 29, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. johnnyhouse

    Need to find out who blew the well up in the Gulf first. If natural gas or crude is that explosive then we need to use it in the military.Would be a lot cheaper. Something ain't right.

    April 29, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. IndependentAmerican

    Wasn't it at the GOP 2008 Convention that the crowds shouted..........DRILL, BABY, DRILL?????????????

    How about now? Florida, Mississippi, ALL the Gulf coasts endangered because of the spill............ are you guys still chanting "Drill, BABY, DRILL?"

    April 29, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. mike

    Give the president a little credit. Do you think he would go along with those plans without a thorought investigation into this matter?? That letter was a waste of ink.

    April 29, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. Grog in Ohio

    While I agree with the senator, isn't there an old saying about the barn doors and the horses?

    April 29, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. johnnyhouse

    Cut off the fuel supply and all the Green bunch would get tired of pumping them bikes.Trucks would quit hauling all of those veggies they prefer which are very rich in methane. I remember Carter's gas shortage and the Liberals were squalling just as loud in those gas lines as everyone.

    April 29, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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