The United States should create a 100-mile buffer zone off the coast of Florida to protect its tourist industry, but then drill as much as it can, Senate hopeful George LeMieux tells Newsmax.TV.
Cuba already plans to drill within that 100-mile zone, he pointed out, and Americans should not be missing out.
“We need to exploit and take advantage of our national resources that God put here for us,” he said in an exclusive interview.
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“I would have drilling off Florida’s coast,” LeMieux said. “I wouldn’t do it five miles off the coast, there should be a buffer of 100 miles because tourism and our beaches are why people come to Florida and we need to be smart about it.
“But that gives plenty of room in the Gulf of Mexico.”
LeMieux, who was appointed to the Senate in 2009 after the resignation of Sen. Mel Martinez, sat in the upper Chamber for 16 months. He did not run in 2010 election that was won by Republican Marco Rubio, but now wants the chance to represent the Sunshine State again.
“We are going to have Cuba drilling shortly,” LeMieux said. “They are steaming the rig now from South East Asia to drill not too far off Florida’s coast. So the drilling will be for the benefit of the Cubans, it won’t be for the benefit of Americans. We need to get with the program.”
Gulf drilling is only part of the way that America could gain energy independence, he said. President Barack Obama’s decision to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from oil sands in Alberta to Texas was an “outrageous partisan move to appease radical environmentalists,” he said.
“The fact that that job program, by putting that pipeline through the United States, would create an estimated 25,000 jobs and we’re going to turn that away when we have record high national unemployment is a sin,” he said.
“They are still going to use these oil sands to create energy. Now they are going to pipe it – if we don’t do this – to the west coast, and have the energy go to China. So it’s not like the issue will stop, we just won’t get the benefit of it.
“It’s criminal that he is not allowing that to happen.”
LeMieux said producing more oil in the United States and Canada would bring down the cost of gasoline as it would take the power away from speculators who drive up prices.
“If you open, in a reasonable way, all of the areas for potential energy supply in this country, that takes away a lot of energy, if you will, from the speculators. “
LeMieux is currently running some 16 points behind two-term Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson, the man he hopes to be up against in November, and well behind his likely GOP opponent Connie Mack IV. But he said that as more people in Florida get to know him that will change.
He claimed many people believe the Connie Mack on the ballot is in fact the candidate’s father, Connie Mack III, the two-term Senator who retired in 2000. “They are going to learn over time that Connie Mack IV is not the same as Connie Mack III,” he said.
“I served in the U.S. Senate. I brought forth serious solutions to serious problems, even got five of my priorities passed and I was only there for 16 months.
“I am not a career politician. I am running because I saw there was a huge problem in Washington with out-of-control spending and a government that’s killing jobs.”
LeMieux said if he is successful in the election he would only serve for a maximum of two six-year terms. “I will term-limit myself,” he said.
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