Wednesday, June 25, 2008

McCain Supports Limit On Drilling

TAMPA - Even though he created a stir last week by advocating ending a moratorium on offshore oil drilling, John McCain supports continuing the current ban on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, his campaign advisers said this week.

McCain campaign senior adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin said McCain supports prohibitions passed two years ago that keep large areas of the eastern Gulf off limits to exploration.

The aim of that law, sponsored by Florida Sens. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, and Mel Martinez, a Republican and a strong McCain ally, was to protect Panhandle and Gulf Coast beaches.

McCain "supports the Nelson-Martinez compromise that reflects the wishes of Florida," Holtz-Eakin said in an interview Tuesday.

"If the people of Florida view that as something that should be off limits, it remains off limits."

McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, created a sensation in Florida and national politics last week when first he, and then Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, another McCain loyalist, switched their past positions and said they favor ending the federal moratorium on offshore drilling............

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