Kerry touts state drilling protections in climate bill

Kerry and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) plan to unveil the sweeping bill Wednesday afternoon.

President Obama in late March proposed an expansion of offshore leasing in the 2012-2017 period. The plan includes sale of oil-and-gas leases in some areas off the Atlantic Coast and in more Artic waters.

The White House also asked Congress to pare back drilling limits in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, which unlike other regions remains largely under a leasing moratorium.

According to a summary of the Kerry-Lieberman bill circulated yesterday, the bill would allow states to block drilling within 75 miles of their shores. “In addition, directly impacted states can veto drilling plans if they stand to suffer significant adverse impacts in the event of an accident,” the summary states.

However, the Kerry-Lieberman plan is also expected to provide states a major incentive to support drilling off their shores by providing them a 37.5 percent share of the royalties.