"The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved expanded oil and gas leasing today in the eastern Gulf of Mexico in a bipartisan vote that would upend a 2006 compromise with Florida senators that provided their state at least a 125-mile buffer in most areas until mid-2022.
The committee voted 13-10 in favor of Sen. Byron Dorgan's (D-N.D.) plan to allow leasing as close as 45 miles from Florida's coast. It also allows leasing in a gas-rich region called the Destin Dome off the Florida Panhandle that is even closer to shore.
The drilling amendment vote was part of the committee's ongoing markup of a broad energy bill."
Ben Geman reports for Greenwire in the New York Times June 9, 2009.