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House Votes To Ban Offshore Drilling, But Inaction Expected From Senate

Opponents in St. Augustine of oil and gas exploration. Photo by Amy Green

Oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts would be banned permanently under legislation approved this week by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Another measure would extend a moratorium off Florida’s west coast, but the Republican-controlled Senate is not expected to take action.

The measures come as the Trump administration says it is reevaluating a controversial plan to sharply expand offshore drilling, possibly off Florida’s coast.

In Florida, top leaders had opposed the plan. They had called on the administration to honor a previous commitment that the state be left “off the table” on offshore drilling.

On this week’s action, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers representing coastal states say the measures would protect sensitive environments.

Opponents, mostly Republicans, say the bills undercut domestic energy security and limit thousands of job opportunities.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »