via The Washington Times:
by Dave Boyer | March 15, 2016
The Obama administration said Tuesday it is abandoning its plan to allow new offshore oil drilling on the southeast coast of the U.S., a move immediately criticized by industry as caving in to environmental “extremists.”
The Interior Department announced it will not auction off drilling rights for tracts in the Atlantic off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
The reversal comes after environmentalists vehemently opposed the plan.
The decision “protects sensitive resources and supports safe and responsible development of the nation’s domestic energy resources to create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement. “The proposal focuses potential lease sales in areas with the highest resource potential, greatest industry interest, and established infrastructure.”
Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said the decision “appeases extremists.”
“This is not how you harness America’s economic and diplomatic potential,” Mr. Gerard said. “While benefiting from energy policy choices made more than a decade ago, this inconsistent policy leads to unraveling the nation’s ability to be a global energy leader and has left the future of American energy and national security vulnerable for the geopolitical challenges that lie ahead.”
Independent Petroleum Association of America President Barry Russell said the action, which affects oil and gas leasing for 2017-2022, “closes the door to more American jobs and opportunities for our economy.”
“This plan will make our nation less competitive, limit our geopolitical advantages abroad, and force us to be more reliant on foreign sources of oil from volatile regions of the world,” he said. (Read More)
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