Obama reinstates ban on offshore oil drilling

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The Obama administration this week announced that it 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.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said the area in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico that remains under a congressional moratorium and the Mid- and South-Atlantic planning areas are no longer under consideration for potential development through 2017.

The Western Gulf of Mexico, Central Gulf of Mexico, the Cook Inlet and the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in the Arctic will continue to be considered for potential leasing before 2017, he added.

“As a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we learned a number of lessons, most importantly that we need to proceed with caution and focus on creating a more stringent regulatory regime,” Salazar said in a statement. “Our revised strategy lays out a careful, responsible path for meeting our nation’s energy needs while protecting our oceans and coastal communities.”

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who has consistently pushed to restrict drilling in the eastern gulf, also welcomed the news.

“Drilling off Florida’s Gulf Coast is banned at least until 2022 under a 2006 law passed by Sen. Nelson,” Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin told The Washington Post this week. “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.”

Oil companies, however, decried the move, saying it would increase dependence on foreign oil.

“This is an unfortunate decision that will eliminate badly needed government revenues, inhibit employment growth and increase reliance on imported energy,” said Kenneth Cohen, vice president of public and government affairs at ExxonMobil Corp.

The drilling ban “ignores the industry’s track record and commitment to improving environmental and safety performance, as well as the overwhelming evidence that the Gulf of Mexico spill resulted from practices far outside industry norms,” Cohen added.


6 comments on “Obama reinstates ban on offshore oil drilling

  1. Errol Leger

    It’s either ignorance or a planned political agenda.
    How dare they prevent people from making an honest living!
    This is a very bad decision by the Obama administration. They don’t really understand the drilling business and the terrible hardships on the Gulf coast economy that this irrational decision will have.
    Our American based oil businesses have a great track record. Don’t punish the good by the reckless policies (or rather lack of) of a foreign firm.
    I don’t work in the Oil Business, but I do fear it’s impact on my family and friends.

  2. gofins

    Good for president Obama. They have spent billions over the last decades on new deepwater drilling techniques and zero on new spill and cleanup procedures.If they can’t contain a deepwater leak, they shouldn’t be able to drill deepwater.
    All said and done it takes 8-10 years and tens of millions of dollars before seeing the first drop of oil from a new rig.Put that time and energy into complimentary new fuel sources.

  3. David Malchow

    I am very disappointed in the announcement from the White House regarding any new drilling in the eastern Gulf, the Atlantic, and Pacific coasts. I have no direct ties to the oil industry; however, everybody in the nation will be impacted directly from an economic perspective.
    Increasing our dependence on foreign oil is not the change this country needs. Nearly 70% of the retail gas price goes to foreign countries that do not like us! Why do we continue to allow the transfer of wealth from our country to foreign countries? Most of those countries do not have the environmental safeguards in place to ensure responsible drilling.
    Having a responsible energy policy would lower our trade deficits, reduce the unemployment, strengthen the dollar, reduce the retail gas prices, make our troops safer, and ensure that the energy we are using is drilled in a responsible manner.
    We all need to work across party lines and let’s put America First!

  4. John Underwood

    Here we go the trikle down affect, no drilling, no service companies, no vendors to service the service companies, no mom and pops to service the vendors. NO MORE JOBS. Can’t afford vacation due major cut backs. We can’t afford cutting back on work. All Obama is saying is we will now shed more jobs for the next 7 years. Lets go for 12% unemployment looks like thats the way we’re heading.

  5. Libs&Rinosuk

    A very bad decision that will accelerate our nation’s journey down the road to perdition. And I feel sorry for the folks who work in the Oil business, for they are the ones who are going to be immediately impacted by this stupid decision on the part of Barry and minions like Salazar. Furthermore,  The Libtards and Margie Alts of the world are drinking too much coolaid, and politicians like Nelson should be thrown out of office. Oh, and one more thing: If then President Clinton had not vetoed drillling up in Alaska back in 94, those oil fields would have been up and running SIX YEARS AGO! Nope, you can’t tell that to Libtards.

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