Oil-drilling advocates are pushing for a new bill that would allow energy exploration 45 miles from Florida’s coast, much closer that the current 125-mile limit.
Senator Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and Senator Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., will propose more offshore drilling in a bill that would allow U.S. companies to drill in waters close to Cuba as well as Florida, Virginia, Georgia and North and South Carolina.
Both of Florida’s senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Mel Martinez, vowed to fight the drilling off Florida. “This is bad policy,” Martinez said. “It attacks Florida’s protections, it violates the embargo with Cuba, and it would put drilling rigs in the Gulf military training area. This proposal goes back on everything the Congress dealt with last year – everything we did to create a long-term buffer for Florida. “I will fight this proposal every step of the way.”