Nelson decries Legislature considering offshore oil drilling
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04/21/09 Seán Kinane
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Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)


photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

A panel in the Florida House has approved a bill that would allow oil and natural gas drilling in areas off the coast of Florida.

The bill would allow drilling to 10 miles into the Gulf of Mexico, where federal waters begin and drilling is now banned.

A Republican state legislator from Winter Park, Dean Cannon sponsored the bill that was approved on a nearly party line vote of 17-7.

But U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, opposes such an expansion of oil drilling off the coast of Florida.

The bill now goes to a vote in the full House. A similar bill in the Senate is not scheduled for any committee hearings.

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