LANSING (AP) The Michigan House overwhelmingly approved legislation yesterday to ban additional drilling from the state”s shoreline under the Great Lakes.

The legislation would permanently prohibit the state from issuing drilling leases. It would extend the federal government”s ban on drilling for oil and gas under the Great Lakes, which ends September 2003.

“We don”t care what the federal government is doing,” about drilling, said Rep. Scott Shackleton, the Sault Ste. Marie Republican who introduced the bill. “The Great Lakes belong to the Great Lake states.”

A number of House Republicans failed to amend the bill to end it at the same time as the federal ban. They said lawmakers should evaluate the state law after the federal government completes its study on drilling.

The House voted 98-7 to approve the bill. Republican Reps. Larry DeVuyst of Alma, Leon Drolet of Clinton Township, Ken Bradstreet of Gaylord, Clark Bisbee of Jackson, Steve Vear of Hillsdale, Susan Tabor of Eaton County”s Delta Township and Cameron Brown of Sturgis voted against the drilling ban.

Drolet said he”s worried the ban would force more oil to be shipped across the Great Lakes to Michigan.

“It”s better to get oil from below the lakes than to bring in oil four inches from the water,” he said. “This ban may further endanger the lakes.”

The bill goes to the state Senate, which will likely approve it.

Gov. John Engler has been a supporter of drilling under the Great Lakes. He says a drilling ban isn”t scientifically justified and that drilling can be done safely.

“We can continue to move forward with drilling in the state of Michigan without an impact on the lakes,” Engler spokeswoman Susan Shafer said yesterday.

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