Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has a history of opposing offshore drilling, even opposing his brother and former President George W. Bush on this issue during his tenure as governor.
Bush wanted The Sunshine State to remain free of offshore oil rigs and took pride in being a firewall against any attempts by the federal government to drill off the Florida coast, even when proposals were made by the administration of his own brother, Politico
As a presidential hopeful, Bush says that he supports the Keystone XL oil pipeline as well as fracking and says that he has always supported offshore drilling outside of Florida.
"Governor Bush supports expanding domestic energy production," Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told Politico.
"As governor he worked to strike a balance between our nation's energy needs and the economic and environmental interests of Florida. He believes states should have a role in decisions that impact their coastline. Expanding domestic energy production is key to ensuring America's energy security," Campbell said.
According to Politico, Bush's position on offshore drilling could be another issue that may put him at odds with some in the Republican party, in addition his stance on Common Core
and immigration policy.
However, those in the oil industry and familiar with Florida politics say that Bush's position is not outside the norm in The Sunshine State.
"Florida politicians are always a little bit squirrelly about this," an oil industry insider told Politico.
Former Louisiana Democratic Sen. Bennett Johnston said that "drilling off Florida has always been very unpopular," and that "the energy industry is [not] going to worry about him being not supportive of them."
Former Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, who also opposed offshore drilling efforts off Florida's coast during his tenure in office said that "you can be for offshore drilling, just not off the coast of Florida."
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