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Miami Herald: Protect Florida, hold BP accountable

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A must-read editorial from the Miami Herald:

All hands on deck! The opening of a local command post last week for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster is a regrettable sign that the massive spill from the Deepwater Horizon explosion is on a collision course with Florida. The state’s magnificent beaches, sensitive reefs, fragile wetlands and protected estuaries are in peril.

This scenario is deeply frustrating for Floridians. For years, despite unrelenting pressure from the oil and gas lobby, residents have wisely resisted the lure of royalties from drilling in nearby waters to avoid endangering the Sunshine State’s enviable resources and natural environment. Now these treasures are in harm’s way due to irresponsibility by private companies and the failure of the federal government to safeguard the public trust. The livelihoods of thousands of Floridians are at risk.

Florida must be prepared to limit the damage from this approaching menace and ensure that the state receives adequate compensation for all losses.

The first step is to recognize that BP’s promises to pay all legitimate claims cannot be taken at face value.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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