President Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural ResourcesPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack Obama* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

Posted March 31, 2010 at 7:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. APB wrote:

Tentative applause to someone I seldom agree with.  In fact, this is only the second time I can remember doing so.  Still, we need to look into the details.  Things like the royalties and/or severance taxes.

March 31, 10:36 am | [comment link]
2. flaanglican wrote:

I agree in principle but it’s interesting how the Democrats fought tooth and nail anytime President Bush proposed the same thing and with ANWR in Alaska.  Also, interesting timing right after the health care debate.  Maybe he’s trying to soften up Republican voters before the November elections?

March 31, 10:58 am | [comment link]
3. Creedal Episcopalian wrote:

Maybe he’s ready to throw his base under the bus?
I agree about looking at the fine print. He’s got to find some way to finance the socialization of the United States.

March 31, 11:29 am | [comment link]
4. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Maybe he’s looking for another industry to take over.  It’s where Chavez started ...

March 31, 11:36 am | [comment link]
5. magnolia wrote:

yah, this will do him no good if he is using it to attempt compromise with the right wing; their mantra has been and always will be ‘my way all the way or the highway’ and ‘our only purpose is to see you fail’.  ‘compromise’ isn’t in their vocabulary. it’s too bad really ‘cause they have some great ideas sometimes…wish they would get over the sour grapes and work together for the common good.

March 31, 12:50 pm | [comment link]
6. Dilbertnomore wrote:

Let’s see the details. The headline, taken at face value represents a polar shift from Obama’s many past pronouncements on the subject. I trust his implementation of the headline not very much. It’ll believe it when I see the oil being sold in the market without undue government interference.

March 31, 1:05 pm | [comment link]
7. John Wilkins wrote:

This is strategic.  Obama is a politician, not an ideologue.  It’s one of the mistakes that both liberals and conservatives make when understanding his presidency. 

Allowing regulated off-shore drilling inoculates him in a variety of ways; he doesn’t seem foolish on energy policy and immediately seems accommodating.  But down the road he’ll seek stronger environmental regulations on something else.  He knows that a comprehensive environmental policy will require give and take.  It may be easier because plenty of industries would benefit from government support of alternative energies.  Including oil companies - who own many of the patents.

March 31, 1:25 pm | [comment link]
8. Jim the Puritan wrote:

Just cover for the Healthcare blunder, to now try convince people he’s a “moderate.”  It’ll never happen.  Even if he green-lighted the whole thing today, you are looking at at least 5-10 years of litigation before the first exploratory well could be drilled.

March 31, 3:11 pm | [comment link]
9. Creedal Episcopalian wrote:

This is a preemptive move to defer criticism when the EPA declares CO2 as toxic and announces truck fuel mileage limits next week.
After all the shenanigans behind the passing of obamacare we can tell when the administration is prevaricating because their lips are moving.

March 31, 3:23 pm | [comment link]
10. Mike L wrote:

How sad is it to be like the little child who finally gets that toy he’s been asking for all year long on his birthday only to suddenly think before even playing with it “it’ll probaby break soon anyway”.

March 31, 5:36 pm | [comment link]
11. John Wilkins wrote:

#9 - it’s easy to accuse the administration of lying when you don’t provide any evidence.

March 31, 6:00 pm | [comment link]
12. Dave B wrote:

#11- Obama said “when I sign this health care bill even if your child has a pre-existing illness you will be able to buy health insurance”  either Obama was lying or didn’t understand the legislation he was cheer leading for and prepared to sign into law your call! Either image is unflattering and who checked his speach? -

March 31, 6:19 pm | [comment link]
13. Creedal Episcopalian wrote:


–verb (used without object),-cat·ed, -cat·ing.
to speak falsely or misleadingly; deliberately misstate or create an incorrect impression; lie.

prevaricate certainly can be used to mean “lie”.  If I had meant “lie” I would have written “lie”

“When I’m president, I intend to keep in place the moratorium here in Florida and around the country that prevents oil companies from drilling off Florida’s coasts,” Obama told reporters in Jacksonville in late June.

His lips were moving.

March 31, 6:42 pm | [comment link]
14. Adam 12 wrote:

#9: Yes, I agree it is a sideshow to sneak in CO2 regs like a foot in the door.

March 31, 9:30 pm | [comment link]
15. libraryjim wrote:

Hay, all you Pro-Obama Environmentalists—- are you ready to join us in the 10th Amendment/States’ Rights movement NOW?


March 31, 10:26 pm | [comment link]
16. Dilbertnomore wrote:

Like so many things Obama’s what is spread as fsct just isn’t so. Turns out the grand gesture promised actually forecloses much more nearterm oil than it exploits in the future. I’m waiting with eager anticipation for #11 to eat his words washed down with a big gulp of Obama’s very special Koolade.

April 1, 2:35 am | [comment link]
17. Billy wrote:

This is truly a political ploy.  My most liberal Dem friends have gone to the blogs and websites and have assured me that 1) EPA will never allow it; 2) there is no real change and some pulling back what was already planned; and 3) it is politics - he is trying to force one or two moderate Repubs to give in on the Cap&Trade; bill before Nov - possibly aimed at Lindsey Graham, but who knows.  He has even shut down some of the leases in Alaska, previously approved.  This is a non-story, other than the political machinations that can be made of it.

April 1, 2:49 pm | [comment link]
18. John Wilkins wrote:

Is there a difference between lying and changing one’s mind?

April 7, 12:39 pm | [comment link]
19. Billy wrote:

John, yes, but, generally, when someone changes his mind, he says so.  When someone lies, he generally just lies, without acknowledging it.  Which was done here?

April 7, 12:43 pm | [comment link]
20. Dilbertnomore wrote:

In this one case Obama is not lying. Nor is he changing his mind.

He is dissembling.

He is attempting to disguise (or conceal) his his true anti-petroleum industry agenda behind a set of phony revised off-shore drilling policies. The policies are presented by the state-controlled media as opening off-shore drilling while actually the policies severely curtail off-shore drilling. Obama is being entirely consistent with his past anti-petroleum / anti-coal / anti-nuclear positions. He just doesn’t want to appear to the the doctrinaire Marxist/Socialist he is. The man is 100% watermellon - green on the outside and red in the center.

April 7, 1:27 pm | [comment link]
21. Dilbertnomore wrote:

He just doesn’t want to appear to be the doctrinaire Marxist/Socialist he is. The man is 100% watermelon - green on the outside and red in the center.

Above corrected to compensate for fat fingers.

I’ll add that dissembling is a particularly disgusting trait at which Obama (along with many other slimy politicians) seems genetically wed.

April 7, 1:31 pm | [comment link]
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