WASHINGTON, May 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Tuesday rejected an attempt to expand offshore oil and gas drilling to allow the states to generate revenue.
The Republican-backed proposal would have allowed states to drill off their coasts and share revenues with the federal government, the (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press reported.
The amendment would have amended a federal ban prohibiting offshore drilling along most coastal states, the newspaper said.
The state proposal was packaged with other controversial measures, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The amendment was rejected on a mostly party-line vote of 42 to 56.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., urged his colleagues to support the measure, noting that his home state of Louisiana has profited from offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
"We need to expand on that policy to dramatically increase our domestic energy production," he said.
But Democrats said an expansion of offshore drilling would do little to reduce Americans' dependence on foreign oil.
"We can't drill our way out of this problem," said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. "We can't drill our way to lower gas prices."