Yesterday the Obama administration announced a delaying tactic which will put off the possibility of new offshore oil drilling on the Atlantic coast for at least five years:
The announcement by the Interior Department sets into motion what will be at least a five year environmental survey to determine whether and where oil production might occur.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell notes that a planned lease sale, which the administration cancelled last year, will now be put off until at least 2018. As you might expect, Republicans were not impressed with the decision:
”The president’s actions have closed an entire new area to drilling on his watch and cheats Virginians out of thousands of jobs,” said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee. The announcement ”continues the president’s election-year political ploy of giving speeches and talking about drilling after having spent the first three years in office blocking, delaying and driving up the cost of producing energy in America,” he said.
Finally, given that this is the Obama administration, you won’t be surprised to learn that oil and gas exploration is not the only aim of the survey:
In addition to assessing how much oil and natural gas is in the area, seismic testing would help determine the best places for wind turbines and other renewable energy projects, locate sand and gravel for restoring eroding coastal areas, and identify cultural artifacts such as historic sunken ships.
The Post reports that environmentalists are already opposing the survey which, conveniently, won’t begin until after the election.