House approves oil drilling ban off Atlantic, Pacific coasts
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House approves oil drilling ban off Atlantic, Pacific coasts

WASHINGTON — The House has approved legislation that would permanently bar drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and extend a moratorium on drilling off Florida’s west coast.

Lawmakers approved the bans in separate votes Wednesday. The Atlantic and Pacific measure was approved 238-189, while the bill to block drilling in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida was approved 248-180.

Coastal lawmakers from both parties say the bills will protect U.S. coasts from drilling that can pollute crucial waters — and lead to disasters such as the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Opponents, mostly Republicans, say the bills undercut domestic energy security and limit thousands of job opportunities.

The Trump administration is reevaluating a plan to sharply expand offshore drilling amid a series of court challenges.

Matthew Daly, The Associated Press

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