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Gwen Graham co-sponsoring ban on seismic oil testing along Florida’s Atlantic coast

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U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham announced on Wednesday that she has joined several key Florida Democrats — plus one Republican, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey — in supporting a new bill on Capitol Hill to prevent seismic testing for oil along Florida’s eastern coast.

The bill — H.R. 2276 — would partially contravene a decision made last year by the Obama administration to open up much of the Eastern Seaboard for oil exploration by way of sending powerful seismic sonar waves through the ocean.

“North Florida felt first-hand the devastating effects an oil spill can have on our coast’s beaches, economy and way of life,” Graham said in a statement.

“I’m committed to working with Republicans and Democrats in Florida’s delegation to ban offshore oil drilling and protect our state’s most important natural resources,” the freshman from the 2nd Congressional District continued.

The bill’s lead sponsor is U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a fellow Democrat with centrist leanings. Murphy, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2016 and increasingly seems to have his party’s nomination in the bag, offered the following Wednesday morning:

“I was involved in the cleanup efforts following the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast,  and I refuse to sit by while Florida’s east coast could potentially be threatened from the devastating effects of offshore drilling,” said Murphy in a statement.

“There is near-universal agreement in Florida that Atlantic offshore drilling is a bad idea. I will continue to work with members of our congressional delegation, as well as state officials, to protect our coastline and way of life.”

Other co-sponsors include U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings, Lois FrankelDebbie Wasserman Schultz and Corrine Brown.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is sponsoring a Senate companion bill.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at [email protected]

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