Oil and Gas Drilling Is Coming to the East Coast

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Photo: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Obama administration announced 14 new areas for oil and gas drilling Tuesday, effectively ending a decades-long battle to protect the Atlantic seaboard from offshore drilling. Most of the new areas are in the Gulf of Mexico, with three in the Arctic and one along the Atlantic seaboard — reaching all the way from Virginia to Georgia. The administration previously nixed a plan to open some of these East Coast waters to drilling after 2010’s disastrous BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, though it now says a 50-mile buffer zone will help minimize the drilling’s effects on existing coastal habitats and activities. As a consolation prize, the White House also announced a ban drilling in some areas of Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas — deeming those areas simply “too special to develop.”