Florida Oil Drilling Initiative (2012)

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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.[1]

The initiative is supported by Save our Seas, Beaches and Shores, former Gov. Charlie Crist and former state Chief financial officer Alex Sink.[1]

The measure is similar to a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, also known as House Joint Resolution 383.

Background

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.[2]

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.[3][4]

Similar measures

See also: Florida Offshore Drilling Amendment (2012)

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.[5] 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.[6]

On July 20, 2010, the start of the special session, after less than 50 minutes from convening the House voted 67-44 to adjourn the session. The Senate voted 18-16 to adjourn.[7]

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.

Polls

Offshore drilling

  • 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.[8][9][10]
  • 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.[11]
  • 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%.[12][13]
Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided
June 2009 Mason-Dixon 55% 31% 14%
May 2010 Mason-Dixon 35% 55% 10%
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.[14]

See also

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Similar measures

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Michigan Drilling Ban Amendment (2010)

Articles

External links

References