Oil drilling ban to be maintained in key areas, sources say

Washington Post

Obama administration officials will announce Wednesday afternoon they will not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as part of the next five-year drilling plan, according to sources briefed on the plan, reversing two key policy changes President Obama announced in late March.


President Obama talks about endorsing expansion of offshore drilling. (Footage via http://www.whitehouse.gov/The Washington Post)

During that announcement–less than a month before the BP oil spill–Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said they would open up the eastern Gulf and parts of the Atlantic, including off the coast of Virginia, to offshore oil and gas exploration.

The announcement is sure to please environmentalists while angering oil and gas companies as well as some lawmakers from both parties who have pressed for continued offshore energy exploration in the wake of massive Gulf of Mexico spill.

According to multiple individuals briefed on the plan, the Obama administration will proceed with scoping for possible drilling in the central and western Gulf of Mexico and in the Arctic as part of the upcoming 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf program, while keeping the other areas off limits.

The administration is likely to conduct a new environmental assessment of Shell’s plan to conduct drilling in the Arctic, the sources added.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who has consistently pushed to restrict drilling in the eastern gulf, welcomed the news. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the senator Wednesday morning, according to Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin, but the two men did not speak yet because Nelson is chairing a hearing.

“Drilling off Florida’s Gulf coast is banned at least until 2022, under a 2006 law passed by Senator Nelson,” McLaughlin said. “The senator is pleased the White House has decided rightly to keep the area off-limits. He hopes Florida’s next governor and the Legislature similarly will commit to protecting the state’s tourism economy and unique environment.”

Activists such as Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America, also praised the administration’s plan, saying, “Today, anyone who loves our beaches, who fishes in the ocean or who depends on a healthy coastal economy can thank the Obama administration for protecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the west coast of Florida from oil drilling. The BP disaster earlier this year was a tragic reminder that drilling is a dirty and dangerous business. The only way to truly keep our coasts and ocean ecosystems safe is to keep them rig free.”

But the move could spark a backlash from business interests as well from both many congressional Republicans and conservative Democrats such as Sen. Manry Landrieu, who argue that curbing offshore energy exploration could exacerbate the nation’s economic woes.

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, said in a statement, “The Administration is sending a message to America’s oil and gas industry: take your capital, technology, and jobs somewhere else.”

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2 thoughts on “Oil drilling ban to be maintained in key areas, sources say

  1. Obama is trying to transfer the control of our waterways over the the UN to be managed under the Law of the SEA Convention see here ;

    Please go to this website ; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-stewardship-ocean-our-coasts-and-great-lakes , and scroll down to Sec.2 Policy(B-iii) you will read the line (iii)under “The United States shall promote this policy by”: pursuing the United States’ accession to the Law of the Sea Convention; the ” Law of the SEA Convention ” Which regulates ONLY ” International Waters ” what Obama wants to do Is place USA waterways into control under this UNITED NATION REGULATORY POLICY Which would Require the United States to Conform on USA Land to the Environmental Management and Commercial Developments of our Water Ways as How the United nations would DICTATE the USAGE LAWS, and If the USA did Not Abide by these Standards then UN NATO FORCES would Have the Right to Invade the USA and Enforce these LAWS , and if you read this link you can read how the International Water ways are regulated in all forms , this would Undermine the USA sovereignty , and would be Un-Constitutional as if we were a One World Order under UN Agenda 21 , see here ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea

  2. Per the headline story in the Washington Post regarding the Ban on Off shore Oil Drilling , Obama is trying to transfer the control of our waterways over the the UN to be managed under the Law of the SEA Convention see here ;

    This is a Sellout of the USA sovereignty !!! If this accession becomes law PRIVATE ENTERPRISE WILL BECOME A REGULATED INDUSTRY BY THE UNITED NATIONS in the USA !!!

    HOW CAN DOLLARS RETAIN INTRINSIC VALUE if Obama gives USA Water Control away to UNITED NATIONS ?

    Please go to this website ; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-stewardship-ocean-our-coasts-and-great-lakes , and scroll down to Sec.2 Policy(B-iii) you will read the line (iii)under “The United States shall promote this policy by”: pursuing the United States’ accession to the Law of the Sea Convention; the ” Law of the SEA Convention ” Which regulates ONLY ” International Waters ” what Obama wants to do Is place USA waterways into control under this UNITED NATION REGULATORY POLICY Which would Require the United States to Conform on USA Land to the Environmental Management and Commercial Developments of our Water Ways as How the United nations would DICTATE the USAGE LAWS, and If the USA did Not Abide by these Standards then UN NATO FORCES would Have the Right to Invade the USA and Enforce these LAWS , and if you read this link you can read how the International Water ways are regulated in all forms , this would Undermine the USA sovereignty , and would be Un-Constitutional as if we were a One World Order under UN Agenda 21 , see here ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea

    Oil drilling ban to be maintained in key areas, sources say
    Obama administration officials will announce Wednesday afternoon they will not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as part of the next five-year drilling plan, according to sources briefed on the plan, reversing two key policy changes President Obama announced in late March.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/post-carbon/2010/12/obama_administration_will_ban.html

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