WASHINGTON (AP) -- About 20 West Coast lawmakers are backing legislation that would permanently ban new offshore drilling in federal waters near California, Oregon and Washington.
The lawmakers are citing the oil spill in the Gulf Coast as an example of why the legislation introduced Wednesday is necessary.
President Barack Obama recently committed to maintaining a moratorium on offshore drilling and exploration along those states. He took that step even as he proposed expanding oil and gas production in other waters off the East Coast and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
The lawmakers, all Democrats, say the legislation written by Rep. John Garamendi of California would be extra insurance.