|photo: Doug Mills, New York Times|
OBAMA REVERSES COURSE ON DRILLING OFF SOUTHEAST COAST, by Coral Davenport
The Obama administration is expected to withdraw its plan to permit oil and gas drilling off the southeast Atlantic coast, yielding to an outpouring of opposition from coastal communities from Virginia to Georgia but dashing the hopes and expectations of many of those states' top leaders...
...The decision represents a reversal of President' Obama's previous offshore drilling plans, and comes as he is trying to build an ambitious environmental legacy. It could also inject the issue into the 2016 presidential campaigns, as Republican candidates vow to expand drilling.We have a glut of unused oil and some big oil companies began shutting down rigs last year and the trend continues today; but, hey, "Drill, baby, drill" looks so good on a poster!
In January 2015, Mr. Obama drew the wrath of environmentalists and high praise from the oil industry and Southeastern governors after the Interior Department put forth a proposal that would have opened much of the southeastern Atlantic coast to offshore drilling for the first time.Four of the five governors in the proposed drilling area are Republicans, and virtually all the region's state legislatures are Republican dominated, so excitement at the prospect of oil rigs on their coastline was not surprising.
But the offshore drilling proposal, which was still in draft form and was not to be finalized until later this year, provoked a backlash from coastal communities including Norfolk, Va., which supports the world's largest naval base; Charleston, S.C.; and tiny tourist towns around Myrtle Beach, S.C., and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Over 106 of those coastal cities and towns signed resolutions asking Mr. Obama to shut down plans for new drilling.
In addition, more than 80 East Coast state legislators (I have no evidence, but would not be surprised if these legislators were members of the area's Democratic minority) and the owners of about 1,000 coastal businessess have signed letters to Mr. Obama opposing the drilling...
Rachel Richardson, program director for the drilling program at Environment America (said), "This moment has come because Atlantic coast communities, businesses, and citizens have all spoken up to protect their beaches, treasured marine life, and President Obama listened."...
..."If the Atlantic is taken out, that means there's less of an opportunity to invest in the U.S., and those dollars will flow overseas, and we'll hear more and more of that in the presidential election," said Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association.Spoken like a true member of the right. It's money over environment every time; and the people's voices--and by "people" I mean the real people, citizens who actually live in and own small businesses in the area, not big money politicians who have their hands deep in big oil's cookie jar-- be damned.
Thank you, President Obama, for listening.
You can read Ms. Davenport's complete article here.