Now that the White House has had a chance to think about it, maybe opening up offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic Coast one month before the BP spill was not the best idea they ever had. According to the Interior secretary's announcement today, possible drilling will still be allowed in the western and central Gulf — where the spill occurred and where drilling is more common — but it has to follow new safeguards. Drilling leases off the Arctic coast will also be honored after new safety measures are met. Since Congress has historically kept the eastern Gulf and the Atlantic seaboard off-limits, the reversal sounds more progressive than it looks. [WP, Politico]
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