COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Governor Rick Scott's office is now backpedaling from his previous statements about expanded drilling in the Everglades.
On Tuesday, the Governor sided with Presidential candidate Michele Bachman by saying he could support expanded drilling if they companies are "very cautious." But now his office is saying expanded drilling in the Everglades is "off the table."
Companies have been drilling for oil in the Big Cypress for decades and David Shealy's family has been involved from the beginning. Shealy, who run's the Skunk Ape Research Center off 41, supports more drilling as a way to bring more money to the area.
"You can't hear anything, and if you don't know where to look you're never gonna see them," Shealy said, referring to oil wells.
Not so, says Pete Corradino with Everglades Day Safari. He says the current oil wells have been successful, but expanded drilling would bring more development to the fragile ecosystem and hurt businesses in the area.
"Bigger roads, more vehicles, it would definitely impact, not only our business, but other eco-tours in the Everglades.
Supporters of expanded drilling say it must be done in a way that protects the environment.
"I'd say they're right, everything is here for a purpose and we have to watch whatever we do," said Shealy.
Environmental activists came out against expanded drilling in the Everglades, saying there will be a "firestorm of opposition" if the governor moves forward with trying to expand drilling.