Obama Proposes Oil Drilling in Offshore Areas for First Time

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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The Obama administration plans to propose the opening of vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline (from New Jersey southward), the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico, and the north coast of Alaska for oil and natural gas drilling for the very first time, officials said tonight. The proposal marks the end of a longstanding moratorium on oil drilling along the 167 million acres spanning from Delaware to Florida along the East Coast. While oil companies will no doubt be pleased by the news, environmental groups and residents of the affected states will almost certainly protest the plan, which is meant to “reduce dependence on oil imports, generate revenue from offshore leases, and help win political support for comprehensive energy and climate legislation.” Obama is set to formally announce the proposal Wednesday.

Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time [NYT]