ASHINGTON – Sen. Bill Nelson won this round. But a Louisiana colleague sponsoring a measure that encourages states like Florida to open up their waters to oil drilling promises the issue won’t go away.
Nelson, D-Fla., lifted his hold on an energy bill Wednesday after Senate leaders told him it wouldn’t include an amendment he opposes that would increase revenue to states that allow offshore oil drilling.
After Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy introduced that amendment, Nelson blocked the wide-ranging energy bill last month.
In return for dropping his amendment, Cassidy received assurances from Senate leaders his measure would get a vote on the Senate floor.
Their “commitment to revenue-sharing is a big win for Louisiana and fellow Gulf States,” Cassidy said Wednesday.
But Nelson is winner at least for now, because convincing senators to defeat a controversial, stand-alone measure is a lot easier than convincing them to vote down a broad energy bill that includes elements supported by a large coalition of lawmakers.