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.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials