OOPS? Bill Nelson Flip-Flopped on Offshore Drilling | NTK Network OOPS? Bill Nelson Flip-Flopped on Offshore Drilling

OOPS? Bill Nelson Flip-Flopped on Offshore Drilling

The Florida Democrat blasted the Trump administration for proposing the U.S. drill off the coast of Florida, then claimed the reversal was a political stunt.

By NTK Staff | 01.17.2018 @11:00am
OOPS? Bill Nelson Flip-Flopped on Offshore Drilling

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is fighting for his political life in a reelection bid that has yet to produce an opponent.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, is widely expected to jump in the race, and that seems to be making the 75-year-old career politician a bit uneasy.

When both Nelson and Scott complained to the Trump administration about its plans to drill for oil off the coast of Florida, the administration reversed course and said Florida would be exempted from drilling.

Rather than celebrating the news, Nelson called the decision a “political stunt.”

But Nelson, who is painting himself as a lifelong opponent to offshore drilling, does not have a squeaky clean past on this topic.

As recently as 2010, less than a month before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – a disaster that brought oil to Florida beaches – Nelson said he supported the Obama administration’s plans to drill off the coast of Florida:

“There are no oil rigs off Florida’s coast, and as long as I’m around there will not be,” Nelson said. “We’ve been at this battle now three decades, ever since I was congressman.”

Nelson’s opposition to drilling off Florida’s coast, however, hasn’t been as consistent as he portrays—in 2010, he shocked environmentalists when he threw his support behind an Obama administration proposal for drilling 125 miles from Florida.

“I’ve talked many times to [Interior Department] Secretary [Ken] Salazar and told him if they drilled too close to Florida’s beaches they’d be risking the state’s economy and the environment,” Nelson saidon March 31, 2010, according to the St. Petersburg Times. “I believe this plan shows they heeded that concern.”

Environmentalists at the time said they felt “betrayed” by Nelson for the reversal.

“I have never seen the membership of my organization so upset,” said Environment Florida’s Adam Rivera. “They are angry at President Obama, and those who are aware that Senator Nelson apparently supports President Obama’s plan, feel betrayed.”

Given this massive flip-flop, it appears Nelson is hoping Floridians forget the fact that he himself is willing to play politics with offshore drilling, too.

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