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MommaMia

Beach Lover
Apr 15, 2009
141
59
Maybe the word is reaching legislators?

It appears that the Florida Legislature may be hearing the drum beat of citizen protest against drilling off Florida's coast ("Hands across the Sand"). Senate President Jeff Atwater has asked for a study "about how best we can protect Florida?s resources, not about how much can we drill for and how fast."

CHOICE OF COMMITTEE FOR DRILLING STUDY 'SENDS MESSAGE'
By JOHN KENNEDY
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, Nov. 13, 2009

.......By ordering an environmental panel to study the wide-ranging effects of offshore oil-drilling, Senate President Jeff Atwater is ?sending a serious message,? the committee?s chairman told the News Service of Florida.

"While House leaders race ahead with workshop sessions building a case for drilling legislation, Atwater is tapping the brakes, said Sen. Lee Constantine, R-Altamonte Springs, chairman of the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee.

?This study will be primarily about how best we can protect Florida?s resources, not about how much can we drill for and how fast,? said Constantine, whose panel will lead the review of offshore drilling.

But Constantine downplayed early speculation that the study?s sweep could effectively thwart House efforts to have oil-drilling on the table during next spring?s legislative session.

?We?ve been aware we were going to get this assignment for a few weeks and work is already underway,? he said. ?But the Senate is not about to just listen to the oil-industry and experts from universities that get oil industry funding tell us about how great it is. Oil-drilling is far from being definite in Florida.?''

GOOD NEWS!!
 

WaltonIsOne

Beach Lover
Nov 14, 2009
88
40
Walton County, FL
Walton Sun Stirs the Oil Drilling " Pot "

After last week's articles printed in the Sun concerning oil drilling off (way off) the coast of Florida, the local citizens on both sides of the issue are getting riled up.

The Editor at the Sun printed a letter from R. Shaffer that really takes a shot at not only those folks against drilling, but at the "tavern bell" locals that are seen hanging around the local bar rooms on 30-A, not to mention a shot at the Sun itself.

The letter presented some good points and a number of good laughs.

Maybe we should all hold hands and hope that R Shaffer continues to write letters to the Sun's editor. It is better than reading the Comics section of a Sunday paper.

Today's Sun is certainly worth a read.
 

Lake View Too

SoWal Insider
Nov 16, 2008
7,075
3,556
Eastern Lake
I got into a discussion about off shore drilling on another thread and someone accused me of being NIMBY (not in my back yard). It was early and I was sleepy, so I came back with the retort that we are stewards of "God's Back Yard"...everybody should watch Ken Burn's documentary "The National Parks: The Greatest Thing We Ever Did" and you will be filled with patriotism and an admiration for the efforts and sacrifices our ancestors gave to preserve what precious places we have in this country. We all need to think like that...
 
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GoodWitch58

Beach Fanatic
Oct 10, 2005
4,816
1,921
I got into a discussion about off shore drilling on another thread and someone acused me of being NIMBY (not in my back yard). It was early and I was sleepy, so I came back with the retort that we are stewards of "God's Back Yard"...everybody should watch Ken Burn's documentary "The National Parks: The Greatest Thing We Ever Did" and you will be filled with patiotism and an admiration for the efforts and sacrifices our ancestors gave to preserve what precious places we have in this country. We all to think like that...

Yours is a good point. It is because of the people with vision that we have the wonderful parks and the open spaces that we do in this country. It is because some local people were willing to literally "lie down in front of the bulldozers" that many of you on this board are able to enjoy Grayton Beach. Those same people also had(and have) a different understanding of what it means to be good stewards of the land. We could use a few more of them in Florida today...and because of Dave and Hands Across the Sand, many of them are stepping up and joining hands both literally and figuratively to save our beaches. The supporters of the effort come from all walks of life and from all political persuasions...they care about our coastline and have both the vision and the courage to stand for what they believe in. This is a serious issue to those of us who are willing to work for what we believe.

Mr. Shaffer, your dismissive letter with your rude attack on Debbie Wheeler and the Walton Sun says much more about you than it does about her and our local community.
 
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Matt J

SWGB
May 9, 2007
22,490
2,647
I really couldn't believe this when some told me about it.

I find it interesting that Mr. Shaffer really thinks we can free ourselves from foreign oil by drilling off the Florida coast. We probably could for a couple of days or weeks, but then we would have depleted our reserves completely. My logic might be off, but doesn't that mean that we would once again be dependent on foreign oil and actually more so than before at that point?

Mr. Shaffer simply states as fact completely fictitious statements. China isn't drilling anything. This is simply a lie. Cuba is leasing exploratory blocks 60 miles off of their coast, but nothing has been done to date. In fact many oil companies currently own leases off the coast of Florida, but are restricted from drilling.

I'm not really sure what reference Mr. Shaffer is making with Eglin, after tourism it is our economic power house. The fact is that Eglin needs both the land and water. Believe it or not pilots occasionally fly over water and it's best to train them to do it than let them figure it out in combat.

Mr. Shaffer if your love of oil derricks is so great then there are plenty of other states that you can move to and enjoy the sight daily.

Finally, making personal attacks against a local business owner and newspaper reporter are simply distasteful and distracting. Perhaps you can form an argument without resorting to name calling, partisan attacks, and flat out lies. Luckily most people can see your argument for what it is; baseless, misleading, and ignorant.
 

rapunzel

Beach Fanatic
Nov 30, 2005
2,514
980
Point Washington
It boggles the mind to see how some people are trying to make this a partisan issue. That is simply not the case. This horrible bill probably would have passed had it not been for Senate President Atwater (R -- Palm Beach) putting the brakes on in the last session after it passed the House. There are many Republicans who oppose near-shore drilling, and sadly there are also Democrats who have taken money from Florida Energy Associates, LLC.

This is a Florida issue, and there is no shame in standing up and saying Not In My BackYard...that is exactly how every movement in the history of mankind has begun.
 

rapunzel

Beach Fanatic
Nov 30, 2005
2,514
980
Point Washington
LETTER: Shame on The Sun and those who won't drill down

November 12, 2009 3:15 PM
R. Shaffer
Kudos to Mr. Swiercz for his column in last week’s Walton Sun. He rationally, logically, and simply explained away highly charged emotional fears (by the use of facts and common sense) about offshore drilling.

This fear mongering “not-in-my-backyard” (NIMBY) attitude regarding offshore drilling comes from self-important, ego-centric, bell-ringing tavern-keepers (without doubt an Obama fan too), and their imbibing patrons, who have no concept of reality beyond their hostess' doorway.

The situation as described by Mr. Swiercz's column is the “upside.” The “downside” is that presently the military uses a very large majority portion of the eastern half of the Gulf as a bombing range (which can't be too popular with non-voting marine life species or boaters and sport fishermen).

When you consider that Eglin (the biggest landmass Air Force base in the world) has always had a bombing range, why would we suppress our energy reserve potential by not drilling in the Gulf — especially in the face of ongoing Middle Eastern coercion by OPEC? (Are we saving it for China, who is already slant-drilling off Cuba?)

Maybe these NIMBY tavern people should try to resist the nightly rhetoric and try to gather some facts that would be beneficial to the entire country and not merely within the sound of their “sundown bell.”

Meanwhile, Deborah Wheeler’s “SIGN OF THE TIMES” photo (immediately opposite Mr. Swiercz’ article) is an abomination — a newspaper editing placement insult to Mr. Swierz. It is a blight on the landscape and I hope she reported it to Walton County Code Enforcement like a good citizen should.

If “Shorty’s” in Grayton Beach had anything to do with erecting this eyesore on the dunes opposite them, they should be cited and the sign removed along with errant beach chairs and umbrellas.

Deborah Wheeler is the Walton Sun writer who reports birthdays, resident vacation trips, and snowbird comings and goings, (no doubt all tavern attendees where the rhetoric and wine flows thick and freely). Those facts are as memorable as faces on the bar-room floor.

It's no wonder that the readership of The Sun is setting.

We're tired of reading about the same circle of birthdays and visits “to and from” as well as warmed-over items from other failing newspapers around the country (Hmmm, I wonder if those other papers around the country report our warmed-over birthdays from here on 30-A).

R. Shaffer
Panama City Beach


Response From Dave Rauschkolb


Dear Mr. Shaffer, thank you for your thoughtful comments. Gosh you would think being a Tavern owner is a crime judging from your letter. Like we are a bunch of seedy, liquor peddling sinners klomping around in wooden shoes. It's the first time I have heard a restaurant called a Tavern in 40 years.

To set the record straight. I am a tax paying, law abiding business person who employs 140 staff in season and have provided thousands of job opportunities in the past 24 years. A business person who is a member of only one of all of the Chambers of Commerce from Pensacola to Panama City who have signed resolutions against this oil legislation.

Let me clue you in, attacking me is like trying to catch a feather in a windstorm. On February 13 thousands of Floridians who agree with protecting our waters and shores will ring a bell so loud the legislators will hear it clear and true. NO oil on OUR beaches, No oil in OUR waters. Period.

Sorry it is not the job of Florida to save America from terrorism or make us free of foreign oil. Florida can and should be the leader of our nation in Solar. We ARE the sunshine state. Texas is the OIL state. Do we want a bunch of anonymous Texas Oilmen determining the future of our beaches and waters? I think not. That would be the real abomination.

Anyway, your efforts to paint this as some ill conceived liberal cause is the real bell ringer. Listen to this. Loud and clear. There is a long line of conservative Republicans including Senator Durell Peaden, R of Crestview, Senator Dennis L. Jones, R , former Senator Jack Latvala R, and others who are against oil drilling in Florida's waters. Peaden and Jones by the way both endorse Hands Across The Sand.

Sir, my concept of reality is clear as a bell. Florida is a place of sunshine, fun and clean waters and beaches. That's why people come here. Our coastal legacy is all of the above and this Nimby, Tavern owner as you call me will stand in a long line around the state to be sure it will stay that way. And please, attacking Debbie Wheeler in the way you did was very rude.

Dave Rauschkolb
Founder, Hands Across The Sand.

Another response to the letter posted on the Sun website a few days ago:

Mr. Shaffer,

It was very easy for you to take aim at Dave Rauschkolb, a NIMBY, a community leader, and a heck of a great tavernkeeper. Mr. Rauschkolb and the other leaders of Hands Across the Sand have made no secret of their identities. They are our friends and neighbors, and they are more than willing to open themselves up to criticism if it means no one will ever have to wash tar balls from their feet upon leaving Grayton Beach.

Florida Energy Associates, LLC, the shadowy organization of Texas oilmen who have hired every prominent lobbyist in Tallahassee and spent millions of dollars to put on a massive public relations campaign in an attempt to try to pass a bill that will permit near shore drilling in state waters have kept their identities a secret. No one knows who they are, and their assurances about the type of drilling they wish to do (as outlined in your letter) bear little resemblance to what the proposed bill would allow. Florida Energy Associates, LLC would have the right to contract with the state for exploration between 3 and 12 miles off the beach, and would be given easements to the coast and across the beach for transport. More worrisome, the bill would even allow County Boards of Commissioners to contract for oil drilling in the waters from the shore to three miles out.

Those who oppose near-shore drilling and are not hiding behind lawyers and lobbyists deserve our respect more than a group of out of state businessmen who refuse to identify themselves and have no stake in our backyards, our beaches, remaining among the most beautiful in the world.

Respectfully,
Christi Ferry
 

dragonflycafe

Beach Lover
Apr 17, 2009
54
35
Well, I am a Texan that goes to South Walton specifically because it HAS NO OIL RIGS on the horizon. We took the kids to Gulf Shores one spring break and I counted 31 oil rigs from my balcony. One day we decided to drive across the border to Florida and stop at a public beach. Voila - a beautiful view of the ocean, not marred by hideous oil rigs (but don't get me started on the ridiculous amount of high rises right on the beach!)
I went to Galveston as a child and I remember it was just common knowledge you didn't wear your 'good' bathing suit to the beach because of the tar balls. And you had to scrape tar off the car when you got back. I remember telling this to my husband (grew up in Florida) many years ago and he was speechless. I thought it was normal.
I cannot imagine beautiful, quaint, picturesque South Walton having these rigs offshore. I'd have to find another place to visit. My father was an oil man and very conservative and I understand the 'need to rid ourselves of Middle East oil', but for heaven's sake, this is America, we can DO THAT without drilling for every last drop of oil at every last beautiful place in this country.
 

David Pleat

Beach Comber
Aug 31, 2009
19
6
I agree. The Parks documentary confirmed that the fight is never easy but the cause great and will leave a lasting legacy for millions to enjoy in the future.
 

TreeFrog

Beach Fanatic
Oct 11, 2005
1,798
212
Seagrove
Well, I am a Texan that goes to South Walton specifically because it HAS NO OIL RIGS on the horizon. We took the kids to Gulf Shores one spring break and I counted 31 oil rigs from my balcony. One day we decided to drive across the border to Florida and stop at a public beach. Voila - a beautiful view of the ocean, not marred by hideous oil rigs (but don't get me started on the ridiculous amount of high rises right on the beach!)
I went to Galveston as a child and I remember it was just common knowledge you didn't wear your 'good' bathing suit to the beach because of the tar balls. And you had to scrape tar off the car when you got back. I remember telling this to my husband (grew up in Florida) many years ago and he was speechless. I thought it was normal.
I cannot imagine beautiful, quaint, picturesque South Walton having these rigs offshore. I'd have to find another place to visit. My father was an oil man and very conservative and I understand the 'need to rid ourselves of Middle East oil', but for heaven's sake, this is America, we can DO THAT without drilling for every last drop of oil at every last beautiful place in this country.


Lessee if I got it right...

FL Energy Assoc. represents out-of-state interests who will profit from drilling off our coasts. Even if it puts our income and property values at risk.

Hands Across the Sand represents actual citizens dependent on our vacation economy, the thousands who enjoy visiting our area, and the property owners, local and remote, who have invested their hard-earned money here.

Does it make me a NIMBY to support Hands? I don't really care what you call me. I know that big money interests always do what they can to paint their opponents as illogical, lacking common sense, liberal, petty-minded, unpatriotic, or whatever. In doing so, they usually gain the support of some of the electorate, who lack the ability to see that they are simply being used. Because, in the end, the big money interests are only interested in themselves.

Dave and friends, I'll be there Feb. 13.
 
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