Last night, the House passed a Democrat sponsored bill that opens the door for new and expanded offshore drilling. The vote effectively ends a 27-year moratorium on new offshore drilling.
The measure, HR 6899, was approved by a 236-189 vote after a Republican motion to recommit it in the House Natural Resources Committee was rejected.
The bill allows drilling at least 100 miles off the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines, with an option for states to allow exploration as close as 50 miles from shore.
The bill keeps the ban on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico off Florida but lifts the moratorium on developing oil shale from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming so long as the three states agree. Massachusetts lawmakers made an 11th hour addition prohibiting exploration in Georges Bank.