Nelson happy with drilling language in climate bill

A staunch opponent of offshore drilling said Wednesday he is pleased with the Senate climate bill's language restricting new exploration.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said late last month that a bill with drilling expansions would be a non-starter due to the massive spill caused by a rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

The climate bill, rolled out by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) Wednesday afternoon, places a moratorium on new drilling until investigators determine the cause of the Deepwater Horizon spill.

"I’m glad the climate bill includes my proposal for a moratorium on any new drilling, until we know what happened aboard the Deepwater Horizon," he said in a statement. "Also, they had their eye on expanding drilling into new areas of the Gulf of Mexico near Florida, and I told them to stay out of it. And I’m glad they listened."

Nelson was positioning himself to be a roadblock against the bill unless it satisfied critics of offshore oil and gas drilling.

Cross-posted to the Briefing Room

(h/t senatus)