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Statement By:
Barney Bishop III, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding the Obama Administration’s Decision to Extend Oil and Natural Gas Drilling Ban

December 2, 2010

“On behalf of Florida‟s business community, we were disappointed by yesterday‟s pronouncement by the Obama administration effectively creating a moratorium on any drilling in the waters of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and, frankly, most of the U.S. offshore waters.

Career politicians like Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) continue to represent a small, vocal minority of citizens who are opposed to all drilling everywhere. He claims the „White House is listening to the people of Florida,‟ but that is inconsistent with polling data demonstrating that a majority of Floridians support drilling and opposed this past summer‟s efforts to place a ban on drilling in Florida‟s Constitution. It most certainly does not jibe with the clear message voters sent Washington last month.

This decision is a tremendous job killer. Floridians are looking for proposals that create jobs, not policies that will endanger economic activity and increase our country‟s reliance of foreign oil. Businesses across this state depend on affordable and accessible energy sources like petroleum and natural gas. Stifling domestic production of these resources creates unnecessary economic uncertainty and may further prolong the economic difficulties Floridians already face.

We must balance the need for safe exploration and production with the current economic challenges facing Florida and the rest of our nation. Banning economic activity of any kind is not the right message Floridians want to hear.”