TALLAHASSEE – A group of “activists” intend to launch a petition initiative to place the issue of offshore oil drilling before voters in 2010. FloridaOil.org plans to ask Florida voters to lift the state ban and kick-start a new offshore drilling industry for the state.

“The people have spoken loud and clear; they support this,” said Don Baldauf of Bradenton, head of the small but growing FloridaOil.org, which has members and volunteers sprinkled across 10 counties.

Baldauf, who runs a small business installing security systems, mounted an unsuccessful run without party affiliation for the District 13 seat in Congress last year. Now he plans to ask voters in 2010 to lift Florida’s 20-year ban on drilling in state waters, and mandate Florida build an offshore oil and gas industry. “Whatever it takes to start drilling and pumping,” he said.

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