NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A vote by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee may open oil and gas development near Navy test ranges.

Representative Anthony Brown of Maryland proposed banning leases in these areas, but that was shot down by a 22-to-13 vote.

Those areas are outlined in documents obtained by our partners at the Virginian-Pilot. Many of those areas are along our coast.

A retired captain says those waters are critical for training.

"That offshore range is not just empty ocean," said Capt. Joe Bouchard. "It's instrumented and critical for the combat readiness of U.S. military forces."

Republican congressional leaders say off-shore drilling could create thousands of jobs for the region.