Crist to call special session for drilling, renewable energy

Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday he will call a special session of the Legislature to consider placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot to ban oil drilling.

 “I think it’s important that we go ahead and have a special session,” Crist told reporters before a Cabinet meeting. “I think after my conversation with Senate President (Jeff) Atwater yesterday, I’m encouraged the Legislature is of a mind to do so as well — to put a constitutional amendment regarding the ban on oil drilling off Florida’s coast.”

  Crist also said he would want to get some of the “best minds” together to lay out a plan before the special session to also deal with renewable energy. The Legislature during the last session did not pass a bill that was intended to encourage the use of renewable energy by utilities.

  “Probably the session would be in a couple of weeks,” Crist said. “But I want to talk about wind, nuclear, solar, gas — natural gas — other alternative means to provide energy to our people in the wake of what’s happened in the Gulf.”

  Asked why he wants an amendment ban drilling when some say the state constitution has too much in it now, Crist replied, “There is no stronger place to put it.”

 “You know, the Constitution is the bedrock of our democracy and our governance in Florida as well as our country. And I think that it’s appropriate for the people to make this call.”

He said the session likely would not deal with anti-corruption measures because he was waiting on recommendations from a grand jury. 

(Story provided by The Florida Tribune. Copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not copy or redistribute without permission.)