Florida Oil Drilling Initiative (2012)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
A Florida Oil Drilling Initiative did not make the November 2012 ballot in the state of Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure would have made an offshore drilling ban part of the Florida Constitution.
Current state law already has a similar ban on oil drilling as the 2010 proposed amendment. However, the amendment, would stop bills to open drilling miles from state beaches.
2010 oil spill
The proposal was developed in reaction to an April 20, 2010 explosion on a British Petroleum (BP) drilling rig that lead to a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - specifically the spill is in federal waters off of the Louisiana coastline. Approximately 20,000 gallons of oil are reported to have spilled daily into the ocean waters. The spill began to reach land in early May, according to news reports. In May, Gov. Crist wrote President Barack Obama saying the state is expected to face "unprecedented environmental harm." Crist requested an estimated $500 million National Emergency Grant.
The Florida governor was asked to hold a special session by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Democratic officials - Sen. Dan Gelber, Rep. Keith Fitzgerald and Rep. Rick Kriseman - on May 6, 2010. A proposal was made weeks following an explosion on an oil drilling rig that lead to a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An official date for the session was scheduled for July 20-23. August 4 marked the last day a proposed constitutional amendment can be sent to the state elections office.
In 2011 legislators made a second attempt to qualify an oil drilling ban amendment for the statewide ballot. Florida Offshore Drilling Amendment (2012) would ask voters in the state whether or not to allow offshore drilling off the Florida coast. The official bill was introduced in Florida Legislature as House Joint Resolution 383.
- In a May 2010 poll by Mason-Dixon it was revealed that since the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 35% of polled voters currently support offshore drilling, while 55% oppose it. In comparison to a poll conducted approximately 11 months prior, 55% were in support, while 31% were opposed. In August 2008, approximately 61% of polled voters supported offshore oil drilling.
- A May 14-18 poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of News 13, Bay News 9, the St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald revealed that of the 607 registered voters polled 44% supported an amendment, while 44% were opposed and 11% were undecided. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.
- A August 9-11 poll conducted by Mason-Dixon reported that 47% of polled voters supported oil drilling off the coast of Florida, while 44% were opposed and 9% were undecided. The poll interviewed 625 registered voters by telephone. According to reports, the overall margin of error was 4%.
|Date of Poll||Pollster||In favor||Opposed||Undecided|
|May 14–18, 2010||Ipsos Public Affairs||44%||44%||11%|
|Aug. 9-11, 2010||Mason-Dixon||44%||47%||9%|
Path to the ballot
- See also: Florida signature requirements
In order to qualify for the 2012 ballot supporters are required to collect a minimum of 676,811 valid signatures. The petition was not submitted to the Florida Secretary of State by the deadline. 
- Florida offshore drilling ban proposal trying for a comeback
- Florida oil drilling special session abruptly ends with no vote
- Florida special session to ban offshore drilling scheduled for mid-July
- No special session on oil drilling next week says Florida Governor
- Florida voters may vote on a proposed oil drilling ban this fall
- KeysNet.com,"Bipartisan appeal against oil drilling," February 12, 2011
- The Palm Beach Post,"Crist leaning toward special session to curb drilling," May 8, 2010
- St. Petersburg Times,"Crist eyes special session to put drilling ban on November ballot," May 7, 2010
- The Ledger,"Special Session on Oil Spill In the Works," May 11, 2010
- The Miami Herald,"Florida offshore oil drilling ban amendment considered," May 7, 2010
- Associated Press,"Crist, legislators maneuver over oil spill special session," July 3, 2010
- St. Petersburg Times,"Florida Legislature adjourns, rejecting vote on constitutional amendment banning oil drilling," July 20, 2010
- Think Progress,"Following oil spill disaster, 55 percent of Floridans now oppose offshore drilling," May 7, 2010
- Marco Island Florida,"Florida voter poll shows near reversal in oil-drilling stance," May 7, 2010
- The State Column,"Crist Supported and Offshore Drilling Opposed in New Poll," May 11, 2010
- News 13,"Exclusive News 13 Florida Decides Poll: The Offshore Drilling Debate," May 22, 2010
- Sun Sentinel,"Opposition to offshore drilling eases in Florida," August 13, 2010
- Orlando Sentinel,"Mason-Dixon: McCollum takes lead over Scott," August 12, 2010
- [Contacted Florida Division of Elections, February 2, 2012]