"Anti-drilling Democrats pledged on Tuesday to block any climate and energy bill that would pave the way for new oil and gas drilling off the coasts of the United States, stepping up the heat on what was already a contentious issue in the Senate debate.
'Any proposal for offshore drilling is dead on arrival,' said Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat and one of the most vocal opponents of plans to expand drilling. 'If offshore drilling is a part of it, this legislation is not going anywhere.'
'If I have to do a filibuster ... I will do so,' said Nelson.
Nelson joined New Jersey Democrats Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg in a press conference on Tuesday calling for a halt to plans to expand drilling as proposed by the Obama administration, and also exploration of new regions for oil and gas development. They also called for the Senate climate and energy bill, which remains on hold amid political wrangling, to stop an expansion of drilling. What that bill may do to expand or incentivize more drilling is one of the more contentious issues among senators. Pro-drilling Democrats like Mary Landrieu have said that the incentives for drilling are crucial to getting their votes."