Wednesday, December 1, 2010
They say even a broken clock is correct twice a day.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday that the Obama administration will not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as part of a five-year drilling plan, reversing two key policy changes President Obama announced in late March.
In March — less than a month before the disastrous BP oil spill, Obama and Salazar foolishly announced they would open up the eastern Gulf and parts of the Atlantic, including the coast off Virginia, to new offshore oil and gas exploration. The eastern Gulf remains closed to drilling under a congressional moratorium, but the White House indicated it would press to lift the moratorium if necessary.
Drilling off Florida’s Gulf coast is banned until at least 2022 under an agreement reached by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).
Wednesday’s announcement is sure to please environmentalists while angering oil and gas companies as well as some lawmakers from both parties who have pressed for new offshore energy exploration in the wake of massive Gulf of Mexico spill.