Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is walking an environmental tightrope between encouraging conservation and alternative energy, and promoting oil exploration off the state’s coast, the Wall Street Journal reports. Recent moves include the purchase of 300 square miles in the Everglades—a deal that shuts down the nation’s largest sugar-grower. But the governor also says he’ll support drilling off the coast as long as the state’s people and beaches are protected.
Crist is among a group of Republicans who straddle the line on environmental issues. But as executive of a swing state and a potential contender for the VP slot on his party’s ticket, his influence is felt all the more. Says the Sierra Club director: "If the governor of Iowa were to say this, it wouldn't change the politics much."