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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio, Nelson split on measure to expand oil drilling

A measure to accelerate domestic oil drilling died in the Senate today with Florida's delegation splitting along party lines. Republican Marco Rubio voted yes, while Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson voted no.

The GOP-led push was expected to fail and did 57-42. Sixty votes were needed to advance. It called for faster permitting and opening up lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off Virginia that were stalled after the BP spill. Yesterday, Rubio and Nelson opposed each other on a Democratic proposal, also unsuccessful, to cut tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

President Obama pre-empted the move somewhat by using his Saturday radio address to call for a re-opening of leases in the Gulf. The lease areas are not near Florida.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 3:52pm]


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