Senate Approves Oil, Gas Drilling Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- In the face of rising gasoline prices, the Senate on Tuesday voted to open a large section of the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling. Senators passed the bill by a vote of 71-25. The bill now must be reconciled with a broader and more controversial House bill that seeks to relax drilling bans on coastal waters, including along the Pacific coast, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The Senate bill would restrict new drilling to about 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico. The House bill would lift a nationwide ban on drilling beyond 100 miles off the coast. Each coastal state would decide whether to allow energy exploration within 100 miles of its shore.