RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Senate committee on Tuesday advanced measures that would ban offshore drilling as well hydraulic fracturing in much of eastern Virginia.
Similar versions of both measures have been proposed in previous years but died in what was then a Republican-controlled General Assembly.
The bills' sponsors said the measures would help protect Virginia's environment. Fossil fuel industry lobbyists oppose the bills.
The measures still must advance through the full Senate as well as the House. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique that allows energy companies to extract huge volumes of oil and gas from shale rock deep underground.