Democratic leaders in the Senate plan to push a bipartisan energy proposal that would allow for some expansion of offshore drilling when Congress returns next week from a five-week recess.
The plan that would allow Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina to opt into leasing programs starting 50 miles off their shores now has the support of 16 senators – eight Democrats and eight Republicans.

However, it is expected to face opposition from lawmakers in both parties, and with Congress planning to meet for only three weeks before recessing again for the November election, its prospects are dim.

The proposal, not yet introduced as legislation, would also lift a ban on drilling off the Gulf coast of Florida, invest $20 billion on developing petroleum-free motor vehicles and extend expiring tax credits for renewable energy.

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