Nelson, Martinez Vow to Block House Oil Drilling Bill

TAMPA -

The bill would do away with decades of restrictions on drilling on the continental shelf. Lawmakers from Florida succeeded at the last minute at keeping drilling 230 miles from Tampa Bay. But an amendment to keep drilling 125 miles off the state's Panhandle and Atlantic coasts was defeated.

Still, the law might not be approved in the Senate. Both U.S. Senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson have said they oppose drilling. Nelson has threatened to filibuster any such bill. Spokesman Dan McLaughlin:

McLAUGHLIN: We're going to insist on a buffer all the way around the state of Florida, of a minimum of 125 miles, and we're going to insist on protection for the military training ranges in the eastern Gulf, that are protected basically some 235 miles off the coast.

A similar bill is expected to come before Senators before their August recess.

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