San Francsico: A bipartisan delegation of US Congress representatives for Florida has introduced a bill to prevent seismic testing for oil drilling off the Atlantic coast.
Seismic testing is used to get a better understanding of the reserve potential in an area under consideration for oil and gas exploration.
States, towns and communities along the eastern seaboard have been debating the issue of offshore energy exploration since February.
That was when the Department of the Interior released a draft proposal for 2017-22 for access to federal waters, including for the first time waters 50 miles offshore in the Atlantic.
It followed on from last July’s decision by the Obama Administration to open the Atlantic Ocean, from Virginia to Florida, for seismic testing.
But the move by Florida lawmakers shows a rare across-party-lines agreement. Democratic Representative Patrick Murphy (Democrat) has been among the keenest proponents of a ban in law.
“I refuse to sit by while Florida’s east coast could potentially be threatened from the devastating effects of offshore drilling,” he said.