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Just curious about the off-shore rigs. Every politician that I know of here in Florida states that drilling can't be allowed offshore here because no one wants to come to a beach where rigs are visible.<div>&nbsp;</div> Does the view of the rigs from Mustang Island make you wish that there was another place you could go? Has it had any effect on tourism there?

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Tim,<div>&nbsp;</div> First off, remember, we're talking about Texas here -- the land of Spindletop and a pervasive oil culture! So whatever environmental or aesthetic considerations that may have been raised were foregone eons ago in favor of creating a booming offshore drilling economy in the Gulf region. <div>&nbsp;</div> As for the view from Mustang Island, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Where else can you see oil rigs from the beach?? And please note, they're way off in the distance.<div>&nbsp;</div> I've been to beaches around the U.S., including the Jersey Shore and the Hamptons in Long Island, and each has had their own unique attributes. Ours in Texas happens to be a constant reminder of the trade-off between aesthetics and economics.<div>&nbsp;</div> Truth be told, being a die-hard Texan I'm proud of the fact that we can contribute to the United States' stated desire to gain more energy independence while still having a nice place to take in some Vitamin D on the water's edge. <div>&nbsp;</div> As to Florida, after watching the "60 Minutes" segment on Carl Hiassen last night, I have to say, I'm surprised no Florida politicans have yet made the leap to being an offshore oil-producing state ; )