Senators introduce bills to increase offshore drilling

A group of senators introduced a trio of bills Tuesday to open up more areas of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic to offshore oil drilling and to provide more oil revenue for states.

Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyHere is a health care proposal that could actually work Senators target 'gag clauses' that hide potential savings on prescriptions Kimmel: Political pleas on health care have cost me commercially MORE's (R-La.) legislation would allow offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico in 2017 and require the federal government to hold leasing sales for drilling sites there in the years following. The bill would also raise the cap on oil revenue Gulf states can take in.

A bill from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) would require leasing sales in three areas off the coast of Alaska and allow for revenue sharing for state and local governments.

Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerZuckerberg: Maybe tech should face some regulations Dem senator responds to Zuckerberg: 'You need to come' testify Lawmakers zero in on Zuckerberg MORE (D-Va.) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSenators demand cyber deterrence strategy from Trump CNN's Bakari Sellers: Democratic leadership is 'old and stale' Politicians, faith leaders react to passing of Billy Graham MORE (R-S.C.) introduced a bill requiring three leasing sales in the Atlantic Ocean between 2017 and 2022, and establishing a revenue sharing program between East Coast states and the federal government.

The bills come one day after the Obama administration signed off on a Royal Dutch Shell plan to drill in Arctic Ocean north of Alaska. But 87 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf remains off-limits for oil and gas drilling, according to Cassidy's office.

Earlier this year, the Interior Department released a proposal to consider drilling in the Atlantic for the first time in decades, but restrict it to only three areas in the Arctic and maintain a ban on drilling in the Eastern Gulf. 

Congressional Republicans have said the plan is too restrictive, and have called on the Obama administration to open up even more of the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling.