It’s a funny thing how Republicans deal with the idea of states’ rights. On issues like abortion, they’ll say that they favor states’ rights. But on other issues, they actually work against the right of state governments to determine how to run their own affairs.
Today, all but one of the Republicans of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, joined by four Democrats on the committee, including Chairman Jeff Bingaman, voted to add an amendment to an energy bill that legalizes offshore drilling within 45 miles of the Gulf Coast of Florida. The Florida State legislature has already passed a law that outlaws drilling for oil in Gulf of Mexico closer than 125 miles from shore.
Florida’s economy gets a huge amount of income from activities related to its beaches, and doesn’t want them ruined by oil slicks turning white sands into asphalt. Yet, the Republicans in the U.S. Senate think they know what’s better for Florida than Floridians do. Their states’ rights political philosophy got thrown out the window today, in favor of oil corporations’ drilling rights.