Crist seeks $100 million from BP for oil spill monitoring in Florida

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has asked BP for $100 million to help monitor the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Crist, who's running for the Senate, wrote Thursday to BP America President Lamar McKay that the spill "is already having an impact on Gulf of Mexico coastal areas, and the threat to our state is real and imminent."

Crist said the money would be used for "an independent, real-time monitor capability, and documentation of the evolving conditions in order to respond to threats to Florida's seabeds, water column, surface and shoreline."

Tourism is one of the state's biggest sources of revenue, and there are concerns about the oil spill's effects on the state's beaches and fishing industry.

Offshore drilling has become an issue in the Senate race, where Crist is the independent candidate. Democratic candidate Rep. Kendrick Meek has called for a stop to the expansion of drilling off Florida's coasts.

Republican candidate Marco Rubio has accused Crist of using the spill for political gain.

"I think Governor Crist never passes up an opportunity to do something that benefits his career politically, and I think you’re seeing some of that now. But that’s also the job of being governor," he told the Orlando Sun-Sentinel.

The oil slick has drifted within 10 miles of Florida's coastline, and tarballs have already been spotted in Pensacola.

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