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CFO Alex Sink Urges White House to Enact Better Protections Against Future Oil Spills

4/30/2010

CONTACT: Kevin Cate, (850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE — Florida CFO Alex Sink today sent a letter to the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner addressing the urgent need for continued coordination to protect Florida from the current disastrous oil spill that is threatening the state’s economy.  CFO Sink also urged better prevention to insulate Florida from future spills originating in federal waters.
“With the threat to our state’s economic wellbeing, I am imploring the federal government to take every action possible to protect our beaches and our economy,” CFO Sink wrote.  “I look forward to continuing to work with you and others in the administration to do whatever we can to lessen the disastrous impact of this current oil spill and to prevent future spills from occurring with more frequent inspections, greater accountability, and responsible decisions.”
A copy of the letter follows below:
 
 
April 30, 2010
 
Ms. Carol Browner
Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change
Old Executive Office Building – Room 100A
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC  20006
 
Dear Director Browner:
 
As Florida’s CFO, I am extremely concerned with the economic health of our state.  As you know, the massive oil spill currently off Florida’s Gulf Coast could have a potentially devastating impact on our state’s $65 billion tourism economy, our environment, and our commercial and recreational fishing industry.
 
With the threat to our state’s economic wellbeing, I am imploring the federal government to take every action possible to protect our beaches and our economy.  This has to be an “all hands on deck” effort, and continued coordination with Florida is imperative.  Please keep including us in your communications and briefings, and as we are mobilizing Florida’s emergency operations we must work in a swift and coordinated way to protect our state.  Nothing is more important to our economy right now than keeping this oil off our beaches. 
 
But as a nation we also have to learn from this disaster and do everything we can to prevent devastating situations like this from occurring in the future.  That is why I approve of President Obama’s decision to halt expanded oil exploration until a full investigation of this incident is complete. 
 
The federal government can do a better job of monitoring oil rigs in federal waters.  I urge President Obama to require more frequent and random inspections of oil rigs and more accountability by oil companies to prevent future spills.  The federal government should also require sufficient safety instrumentation to be able to immediately stop the flow of oil in case of a problem. 
 
Finally, this oil spill underscores how much of a threat the near-beach drilling proposals pushed by the Florida Legislature would be for our state’s economy.  That is why I will continue my longstanding opposition to the near-beach drilling proposals that would bring drilling within three miles of Florida’s beaches.
 
I look forward to continuing to work with you and others in the administration to do whatever we can to lessen the disastrous impact of this current oil spill and to prevent future spills from occurring with more frequent inspections, greater accountability, and responsible decisions.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
Alex Sink
 
AS