The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday, May 18, to keep a 25-year old ban on oil and natural gas drilling in coastal waters in place.
The Associated Press reported that the ban covers 85 percent of the country’s coastal waters from Alaska to New England.
Opponents of the ban argued that more oil exploration is needed to slow growing energy concerns and to end the U.S. dependence on foreign oil. But The AP reported that representatives from California and Florida fought hard to keep the ban in place.
“People don’t go to visit the coasts of Florida or the coast of California to watch oil wells,” Rep. Sam Farr, D-CA, said.
The AP reported that the drilling moratorium was put in place in 1981 and has been extended every year since.