Bill Allowing Offshore Drilling Introduced in Congress

Friday, February 17, 2006
An effort to open Virginia's coast to offshore drilling gained new momentum in Congress when Virginia's senators introduced legislation giving states the option to drill for natural gas. The bill would give governors of coastal states the power to opt out of a federal moratorium that prohibits offshore drilling in most U.S. coastal waters. The new legislation comes one week after the Bush administration signaled its support for such proposals by calling for a study of potential gas and oil development in Virginia waters. Unlike other recent drilling bills, however, the new legislation is limited to natural gas drilling - thereby keeping in place a federal ban on offshore drilling for oil. Oil drilling is often considered more environmentally threatening than gas drilling, although environmental activists have raised objections to both. As the price of natural gas reached record highs this winter, Congress has been considering various proposals to lift the federal moratorium and allow for gas and oil drilling. But opposition has been formidable, particularly from Florida lawmakers who fear oil spills on tourist-drawing beaches. (Source: Daily Press)

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