Reality... inconvenient facts .... tens of thousands of his constituents who depend upon tourism.... the millions of Americans who enjoy our sugar-white beaches... the fish and fauna throughout the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico... All can be damned as far as "Oil Spill" Miller is concerned. He'll continue working, as he has promised so often he would, to make sure the unique sandy beaches of Northwest Florida eventually are befouled by a massive oil spill.
The pathetic man we have sent to Congress these past eight years has been publicly sucking up to the oil industry for so long, now, he can no longer help himself. It's become more than a habit with Miller. It's his raison d'être for being in Congress.
Even the ongoing BP Deepwater disaster, which now threatens to rival the scandalous Exxon Valdez oil spill, can't shake Miller's allegiance to Big Oil. Our local congressman continues to 'work hard' to bring oil drilling platforms as close as possible to Pensacola Beach.
"Drill, baby, drill" was his mantra before anyone in the lower 48 ever heard of Sarah Palin. He can't very well change now, he must be thinking; his record is too deeply engraved in the public consciousness. Jeff Miller has, you might say, oil all over his hands.
Miller went so far four years ago as to try to introduce oil drilling platforms directly off-shore of Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Pensacola Beach. This would have put oil company platforms directly in the path of jets and trainers from Naval Air Station, Eglin AFB, and Hurlburt.
The Defense Department quietly took Miller to the woodshed. After that, Miller changed his tune ever so slightly to add, 'drill everywhere' except where it would "impact the military mission."
You need to know that background to fully appreciate the editorial in today's PNJ ["All In on Risk"]. It is a doleful warning to all the "drill, baby, drill" politicians in Florida who, like Miller, routinely promote drilling with the single exception of the "military mission":
For centuries, the white sandy beaches of what we call home have been a wonder of Mother Nature. Now, that white sand, unparalleled in all the world, is in jeopardy.Then, in a pointed message to the Republican-dominated Florida legislature as well as Mr. Miller, the editorial adds:
About 100 miles due south of Pensacola is a massive oil slick, the result of an oil rig explosion off the Louisiana coast two weeks ago. The blast killed 11 and has sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into Gulf of Mexico waters.
* * *
The April 20 explosion on the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig mocks the promise of safe drilling. It mocks the promise of clean drilling. It mocks any who have tried to portray drilling for oil in the Gulf to be as easy as pumping gas into the family car.
* * *
Oil truly is, we are finding out, dirty money.
And we hope it convinces our state legislative delegation, which has opposed drilling almost apologetically, mumbling about the perils of interfering with the military’s mission instead of standing up for the Panhandle’s already battered environment.
Gentlemen, it’s also about the environment and tourism. Not just the military. What the explosion and the expanding oil slick have done is reveal that to hide behind “drill baby drill” is folly and that Florida will have to make a choice: intolerable risk to our beaches and environment, or oil money.Miller and his drill-happy cohorts can gamble all they want with their own lives property in landlocked Washington D.C. and Tallahassee. But to continue tossing the "drill, baby, drill" dice means endangering the lives and livelihood of all the rest of us who live along coastal Florida or want to visit our beaches. If the Deepwater oil spill disaster proves nothing else, it is that these politicians -- no more than dissembling oil corporations like BP, trapped in their own lies -- have no moral, ethical, or economic right to put our lives and property at risk.
It can’t have both. Oil spills don’t leave us a Plan B. So make no mistake: If the Florida Legislature allows drilling in our coastal waters, then all of us are, in the language of the gambler, "all in" for the risk.
All of us.
The commercial fisherman. The hotel owner. The parents of the family who love beach
cookouts. The divers. The natives. The tourists. The people who love Pensacola for its beauty.
All of us. All in. [italics added]
Miller quite obviously doesn't get it. So we should be sure to send him another message at the polls this year.