PNS Daily Newscast - April 8, 2020 

COVID-19 prompts a car insurance break for some drivers. Also, a push for postal banking, and for grocery workers to be treated as first responders.

2020Talks - April 8, 2020 

Wisconsin held its primary yesterday in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. But a shortage of poll workers led to just five polling stations in Milwaukee instead of the usual 180.

Lowering the Boom: Off-Shore Drilling Backlash Swirling in FL?

July 7, 2008

Tallahassee, FL – As Florida drivers paid record-high prices for gasoline over the weekend, polls showed that the public -– hoping for fuel cost relief -- was warming to the idea of lifting the off-shore drilling ban.

However, Richard Charter, an energy expert with Defenders of Wildlife in Florida, says that excitement about a break at the pump may fade this week after numbers from the federal government and oil companies themselves show the savings would only be a couple of pennies a gallon -- and wouldn't happen for 10 years.

He says now the pitch from the big oil companies is that off-shore drilling will bring "psychological benefits:" People will "feel better" if the sea bottom under coastal waters is drilled.

"The first time something goes wrong and closes down the coastal-dependent tourism industry for a summer -- or longer -- we won't feel better at all."

One company has said such accidents are rare; a spokesman for another company has said they could get off-shore oil flowing within a year if the ban is lifted. Gov. Charlie Crist also supports lifting the ban.

Charter takes issue with these statements, saying Big Oil has been playing into the panic at the pump by trying to make the connection that off-shore drilling would mean lower prices. He says the public is too smart to believe that, and the truth is fueling a backlash against the push to drill.

"Many of the allegations being made by the oil industry are actually just outright lies, and those are now coming to the surface."

Deborah Smith/Steve Powers, Public News Service - FL