Senators Move to Block Florida Offshore Oil Drilling Permanently

Florida's two members of the United States Senate may be on opposite sides of the political spectrum on most things, but oil drilling off the Florida coast isn't one of those things.

Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez are introducing legislation in the U.S. Senate which would permanently ban drilling for oil within 150 miles of the Florida coast.

The legislation is known as “The Permanent Protection for Florida Act.”

Nelson and Martinez say the bill would also help protect Florida's military interests, which use the Gulf as a training range.

"What Senator Martinez and I have decided to do is launch a preemptive strike by filing legislation that would give permanent protection off of the coast of Florida in an area that, uh, off of Tampa Bay west of Clearwater Beach would be up to 260 miles that would be protected forever in law from drilling."

The boundary for drilling would be 260 miles off the state's west coast, 150 miles off the northern Gulf coast and 150 miles off the east coast.