This afternoon, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a spending bill that allows the 26-year ban on offshore oil drilling to expire.
The end to the ban on oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is a major victory for Republicans, who have seized on drilling as a major election year issue, citing multiple public opinion polls that show a majority of Americans support more offshore drilling. Speeches at the Republican National Convention last month were often interrupted with chants of "Drill, baby, drill."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, had incurred Republican wrath for originally blocking any vote on drilling before allowing a vote on limited drilling earlier this month.
The federal moratorium will be lifted October 1st.