Gov. Bush Credits Brother For Cutting Oil-lease Area

Posted Jul 3, 2001 by Digital Journal Staff
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Gov. Jeb Bush says a decision by his brother's administration to shrink an oil and gas lease area by three-fourths was "a victory for the people of Florida."
The Bush administration in Washington, D.C., eliminated all areas east of the Florida-Alabama state line and removed a "stovepipe" extending to within 15 miles of the Alabama coast, next to the Florida Panhandle, from Lease Sale 181 in the Gulf of Mexico.
Florida environmentalists and others opposed to drilling also praised the decision announced in Washington, D.C., by Interior Secretary Gale Norton.
"This is a victory of historic proportions," said Mark Ferrulo, executive director of the Tallahassee-based Florida Public Interest Research Group.
The governor, who is up for re-election next year in a state where drilling is overwhelmingly opposed, said it was his brother, President Bush, who decided to eliminate all areas off Florida's coast from the lease sale.
"It is important that I have a relationship with the president and be able to speak clearly and honestly about what Florida's concerns were," Jeb Bush said Monday during a teleconference from Kennebunkport, Maine, where he is vacationing.