Floridians May Be Losing Their Taste for Oil Drilling

A majority of Florida voters now oppose offshore drilling — even while a majority of national voters still support it — according to a new poll.

A telephone survey of 500 likely voters conducted May 3 by Rasmussen Reports showed support for drilling in Florida has dropped to 48 percent, while national support was a much higher 68 percent. Support for the proposal was higher among Florida Republicans, 60 percent, than independents and Democrats, who each supported the proposal 47 percent.

In the summer of 2008, when gas prices in Florida spiked to higher than $4 a gallon, Rasmussen showed 59 percent of Florida voters supported drilling off the coastline. Proposed legislation that would allow oil rigs within three miles of shore seemed to be gathering some momentum, though a hesitant state Senate blocked any action on the plan this spring. Now, in the wake of the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig, there is talk of a constitutional amendment banning drilling and Gov. Charlie Crist is considering calling lawmakers back into special session to address the issue.

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