Florida Democrats issued a joint statement Thursday praising the energy legislation House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) outlined this week.
These lawmakers represent a key constituency for party leaders because the tourist industry has fought previous moves to open federally protected waters for oil and gas exploration. In addition, the state's Republican governor, Charlie Crist, reversed his previous opposition to offshore drilling over the summer, putting more pressure on politicians there to follow his lead.
"Speaker Pelosi took the time to understand the fragile balance Floridians have between their energy needs, their economy, and their environment," the nine Democrats said in their joint release. "The comprehensive energy legislation we will take up next week takes into account Florida’s needs and allows offshore oil drilling for states which choose to opt-in."