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Sen. Tillis Introduces His First Measure

North Carolina General Assembly

It was a week of firsts for North Carolina’s new U.S. Senator, Thom Tillis. The senator filed his first legislation, an amendment Thursday that would open much of the East Coast to off-shore drilling for oil and gas.

Tillis also gave his first speech on the floor of the Senate to champion it.

“America has more energy potential than any other nation,” He said. “It’s time that we start realizing its full potential.”

The legislation would open up federal waters for off-shore drilling from Delaware to Florida. It would require the federal government to offer leases at least 30 miles off the coast to drilling companies.

The Obama administration is currently developing a plan for off-shore leases beginning in 2017. It’s not clear whether that will include the Atlantic. But, there’s little chance that Tillis’ measure will influence that decision. He introduced his legislation as an amendment to the Keystone pipeline bill, which the president has said he will veto.