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CONNIE MACK IV ON ENERGY: SAYS ONE THING BUT DOES NOTHING

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Tallahassee, FL – Congressman Connie Mack IV brings his energy flip-flops to Pensacola today. On the heels of Mack’s attack against his GOP opponent for supporting aid to Florida families devastated by the BP oil spill, the Florida Democratic Party is highlighting Mack’s flip-flops and empty rhetoric on the nation’s energy issues. This failed leadership is another sign Mack lacks both the character and competency to lead.

“Congressman Connie Mack says one thing on energy but has done nothing in Washington except for flip-flopping on this important issue,” said Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan. “He’s frequenting gas stations at gimmicky campaign events while missing crucial votes in Congress -- that’s not leadership. Meanwhile, his long record of flip-flopping on energy issues makes it even harder to take him seriously.”

Background:

2011: Mack: “We Should Open Up Domestic Drilling Through The United States And In Our Waters.” In February 2011, the Tallahassee Democrat reported: “The Fort Myers Republican, a potential Senate candidate next year, said increased domestic oil production would reduce U.S. dependence on Venezuela, the country's third-largest supplier of foreign oil, and its ‘thug-o-crat’ dictator, Hugo Chavez. ‘We should open up domestic drilling throughout the United States and in our waters,’ Mack said, drawing a standing ovation from several hundred people attending this year's Conservative Political Action Conference. ‘Then we should put a halt to buying Chavez's oil.’” [Tallahassee Democrat, 2/12/11]

·        2011: Mack Has “Eased His Previous Opposition” To Offshore Drilling.  In December 2011, Environment and Energy Daily reported on Mack’s offshore drilling stance: “The four-term House Republican, whose identically named father served two terms as a popular Florida senator, eased his previous opposition to offshore drilling in 2008 as ballooning gasoline prices turned "drill, baby, drill" into a GOP rallying cry during the presidential race.” [Environment and Energy Daily, 2/5/11]

2010: After Deepwater Horizon, Mack Said There Should Be A Thorough Investigation Before Entertaining A Drilling Ban. In June 2010, the Naples Daily News reported on the Deepwater Horizon spill: “Mack said before a decision is made on whether offshore drilling should banned, there will be thorough investigation into what went wrong at Deepwater Horizon. ‘Before we get into a conversation about stopping drilling in the Gulf, we need to have real understanding of what want [sic] wrong and what kind of contingency plans there are to put in place so this never happens again,’ said Mack, who believes there needs to be more domestic oil production.” [Naples Daily News, 6/2/10]

2008: Amid Cries Of ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ Mack “Eased His Previous Opposition” To Offshore Drilling.  In December 2011, Environment and Energy Daily reported on Mack’s offshore drilling stance: “The four-term House Republican, whose identically named father served two terms as a popular Florida senator, eased his previous opposition to offshore drilling in 2008 as ballooning gasoline prices turned "drill, baby, drill" into a GOP rallying cry during the presidential race. Saying that ‘circumstances have changed, I have changed, and I believe the people of Florida have changed,’ Mack released a statement that year calling for the state to have ‘the right to decide whether to drill off our coast.’ Since that year, Mack has hewed to his states' rights position on drilling while hitting the Obama administration for its entreaties that oil companies take advantage of public lands already available for oil leasing. The 44-year-old Senate hopeful was one of only nine Republicans to vote against a bill earlier this year that required the Interior Department to fast-track lease sales in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.” [Environment and Energy Daily, 2/5/11]

June 2008:  Mack Said He Would Lift Drilling Moratorium Off Florida If Floridians Had A Say. In A June 2008 discussion of gas prices, Mack said on Fox News’ Hannity and Colmes: “I believe what we need to do is take a serious look at what we can do here in the United States, whether it's build new refineries, look at nuclear power and drilling either off the coast of Florida or in Alaska. … In the state of Florida I would vote today to lift the moratorium, but as long as the state of Florida has a say, like Alaska does. We need to go and get more domestic oil out of the ground.” [Hannity and Colmes transcript, 6/16/2008]

·        Mack: “The People Of Florida Deserve The Right To Decide Whether To Drill Off Our Coast.” In a June 2008, Mack said of offshore drilling, “For years I have said states should have the right to decide whether or not they want to allow drilling off their shores. But circumstances have changed, I have changed, and I believe the people of Florida have changed. We're facing a serious energy emergency and we need to take real steps to bolster our energy independence and security. The people of Florida deserve the right to decide whether to drill off our coast.” [Rep. Mack release, 6/17/08]

·        Mack Made “Subtle” Change To Offshore Drilling Position. In a June 2008 article titled “Oil issue yields slippery position,” the Naples Daily News reported: “Southwest Florida's men in Congress let you know exactly where they stand on the issue of oil exploration off Florida's Gulf Coast. All around it. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, issued statements last week signaling subtle changes to their previous opposition to eastern Gulf drilling. Mack and Diaz-Balart, both historically strong opponents of drilling off Florida's coast, now emphasize support for states' rights to determine offshore oil drilling policy for themselves. The statements aren't exactly a repudiation of their previous positions, but they're not a reiteration, either.” [News-Press, 6/22/08]

·        Mack Supported Bush When He Lifted The Executive Ban On Offshore Oil Drilling. In July 2008, after President Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore oil drilling, Mack said in a release: “As I've said many times before, Florida deserves the right to decide whether or not to allow drilling of its shores. That's why I welcome the President's decision to lift the executive ban on offshore drilling. Now, it's up to the Democrats in Congress to take responsible action to increase our nation's energy security by giving states the right to determine whether to allow drilling. Sadly, the Democrats record on energy security and independence, let alone states' rights, strongly suggests they will continue to do all they can to stall and block this important effort. That's wrong. The people of Southwest Florida and all Americans deserve better.” [Rep. Mack release, 7/14/08]

2005: Mack “Led The Opposition” to GOP Plan To Drill Off The Coast Of Florida. In November 2005, after a House GOP plan to allow drilling off the coast of Florida was abandoned, the Orlando Sentinel reported: “Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, led the GOP opposition, bucking his governor and most of the 18 Republican House members from Florida. Mack argued that drilling in the eastern Gulf would not solve the nation's energy problems but could lead to environmental problems that could damage Florida's beaches and tourism economy.” [Orlando Sentinel, 11/20/05]

·        2005: Mack Opposed Lifting Moratorium On Offshore Drilling Near Coast Of Florida. In May 2005, Gannett News Service reported: “Florida lawmakers scrambled Thursday to defeat an aggressive push to open the entire Florida coast to oil and natural gas drilling. Emboldened by motorists' growing anger at record gasoline prices, pro-drilling congressmen from Texas and Pennsylvania offered amendments that would end a decades-old moratorium on exploration and drilling along the Outer Continental Shelf within miles of Florida's signature beaches.” Mack said, “I oppose any attempt to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling.” [Gannett News Service, 5/20/05]

·        2005: Mack: “Drilling For Oil And Gas Off Florida's Fragile Coastline Is A Risky Scheme…” In an October 2005 release, Connie Mack said: “Make no mistake, drilling for oil and gas off Florida's fragile coastline is a risky scheme that jeopardizes our environment and our economy. It won't reduce the price at the pump and it won't reduce our dependency on foreign oil. That's why the 285 mile buffer has been in place for years and why it should remain intact for many more years to come.” [Rep. Mack release, 10/26/05]

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