Santorum Loves Drilling More than Floridians

| Mon Jan. 23, 2012 11:34 PM EST

Rick Santorum was asked at Monday night's NBC debate about oil spills and tourism—an issue of vital interest to Florida, where the tourism-based economy was severely injured by the massive Gulf spill in 2010.

Rather than deal with the threat of oil spills, Santorum first blamed the state's economic collapse on high gas prices in 2008. After making an appeal for the unrelated Keystone XL pipeline through the Midwest, Santorum argued that pipelines are better than tankers—another point that's doesn't have much to do with the Gulf spill, which came from neither a pipeline nor a tanker, but an exploratory drilling rig. 

Oil, Santorum concluded, is "the best way to create a good economy for the state of Florida."

Most people in Florida—even many Republicans—would not agree with that assessment. The Republican-controlled state legislature has pledged that it has no plans to pursue drilling of Florida's coasts. Florida has been less enthusiastic than many other states about offshore drilling because spills in the Gulf of Mexico directly imperil the very heart of its economy.

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