Yesterday the Obama administration announced a delaying tactic which willput off the possibility of new offshore oil drilling on the Atlantic coastfor at least five years:
The announcement by the Interior Department sets into motionwhat will be at least a five year environmental survey to determine whetherand where oil production might occur.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell notes that a planned lease sale, which theadministration canceled last year, will now be put off until at least 2018.As you might expect, Republicans were not impressed with the decision:
The president’s actions have closed an entire new area todrilling on his watch and cheats Virginians out of thousands of jobs.[Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who chairs the House Natural ResourcesCommittee]The announcement continues the president’s election-year political ploy ofgiving speeches and talking about drilling after having spent the firstthree years in office blocking, delaying and driving up the cost ofproducing energy in America.
Finally, given that this is the Obama administration, you won’t be surprisedto learn that oil and gas exploration is not the only aim of thesurvey:
In addition to assessing how much oil and natural gas is in thearea, seismic testing would help determine the best places for wind turbinesand other renewable energy projects, locate sand and gravel for restoringeroding coastal areas, and identify cultural artifacts such as historicsunken ships.
The Post reports that environmentalists are already opposing the surveywhich, conveniently, won’t begin until after the election.