as a weekly practice I listen to npr and do a little sketch on one of the stories. take a look, you can click on the illustration to make it bigger!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gulf Coast States Mull Over Oil Drilling Ban

As gas prices continue to climb, lawmakers in both parties are looking for solutions, including lifting the 27-year ban on offshore drilling along much of the nation's coastline. Congress first approved the ban after thousands of production facilities were erected in the central and western Gulf of Mexico. Top Florida Republicans have backed the ban on drilling off its coast, but now some are changing their minds. Oil and natural gas platforms dot the Gulf off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Off Florida's coast, however, the scene from the beach is different.

Enid Siskin of Gulf Breeze, Fla., would like to keep it that way. Siskin, a board member of the group Gulf Coast Environmental Defense, has been fighting proposals to drill in the eastern Gulf for 16 years. Siskin notes that tourists visit the Pensacola, Fla., beaches for white sands and emerald waters. Tourism not only fuels the economy here; it's the economic engine for the state. "It's what people come here for," Siskin says. "We're not willing to sacrifice our economy for what is potentially a very small amount of oil or gas in comparison to the world supply and will do very little if anything to lower prices."

Traditionally, that has united politicians from this area. Democrats and Republicans alike support the federal moratorium on offshore drilling.

-excerpt on NPR

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