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, much of it 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.
Under the plan, the coastline from New Jersey northward would remain closed to all oil and gas activity. So would the Pacific Coast, from Mexico to the Canadian border.
The environmentally sensitive Bristol Bay in southwestern Alaska would be protected and no drilling would be allowed under the plan, officials said. But large tracts in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska — nearly 130 million acres — would be eligible for exploration and drilling after extensive studies.
Anything that makes an oil company happy gives me the creeps, especially since they’ve seen fit to fill the airwaves with all these feel-good commercials about how environmentally conscientious they are. Oh, sure, and the check’s in the mail and … we know the rest.
I am very sure the Obama administration will go to great pains to assure us that all the necessary precautions will be taken to protect the environment and if we’re going to be energy-independent we have to find resources here at home and blah blah blah. I just wish they had the nerve to say that they’re trying to either suck up to the Republicans or he’s trying to undercut them on a campaign issue.
Chances are the only thing we’ll get out of it are huge globs of tar on New Smyrna Beach.