Obama to Open Atlantic Coast to Offshore Drilling
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 12:14 am
This is bound to draw some fire from the left:
The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling for the first time, officials said Tuesday.
The proposal — a compromise that will please oil companies and domestic drilling advocates but anger some residents of affected states and many environmental organizations — would end a longstanding moratorium on oil exploration along the East Coast from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean. [...]
The proposal is to be announced by President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Wednesday, but administration officials agreed to preview the details on the condition that they not be identified.
The proposal is intended to reduce dependence on oil imports, generate revenue from the sale of offshore leases and help win political support for comprehensive energy and climate legislation.
If Obama’s goal here is to win support for a climate bill, wouldn’t he have waited to use this leverage until negotiations in the Senate had actually begun in earnest? Or has he already struck a deal with oil-state moderates like Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)?
In any case, reactions tomorrow will undoubtedly be fierce.
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