According to an Article in the CPUSA News, People's World, on December 1st, the Obama Administration Banned offshore drilling in the Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean until 2017:
"The Obama administration announced yesterday that it was withdrawing plans for expanding oil drilling in the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. The news was met with cheers of approval by environmentalists who had condemned the administration's move in March to back additional drilling.
"This decision is a wise and sensible step to protect Florida, the Atlantic Coast and the Pacific Coast from an inevitable disaster from expanded drilling," said Oceana Executive Director Andrew Sharpless.
In March, a month before the BP oil spill, the Interior Department decided that it would support ending the longstanding drilling ban in the Atlantic Ocean and eastern Gulf of Mexico around Florida. However, on Dec. 1, citing too much risk of another disaster, the department reversed that decision, ensuring there will be no drilling in these areas until at least 2017.
The BP spill prompted massive campaigns asking the president to do everything from cracking down on oil companies with tougher regulations and penalties to slowing down and even ending offshore drilling altogether.
The reversal by the administration does not include deepwater drilling in the western Gulf, the area of the spill, which will continue under new safety regulations. Also not included in the ban is oil drilling by companies in the Arctic's fragile Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
In Alaska, the administration is suspending new oil lease sales through 2012 but has left open the possibility of future oil and gas development in the Arctic after completion of studies of possible environmental impacts and oil response capabilities. Longstanding prohibitions on new drilling along the Pacific Coast remain in effect.
Not surprisingly, GOP leaders have already attacked the president for the move."
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