Thursday, May 27, 2010

President Obama To Extend Offshore Drilling Ban

File Photo: Obama 1st Trip To Gulf After Spill
President Barack Obama is reinstituting a moratorium on new deepwater oil drilling permits for six months while a presidential commission investigates. Lease sales off the coast of Alaska will be delayed pending the results of the commission's investigation. Lease sales planned in the Western Gulf and off the coast of Virginia will be canceled. In March, Obama and Salazar canceled a planned 2011 lease sale in Alaska's Bristol Bay. Salazar believes that fisheries, tourism and environmental values in Bristol Bay make the area inappropriate for oil and gas drilling. They canceled four scheduled lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas and said no additional leases would be offered there until more scientific data are collected.

These actions are the results of a 30-day safety review of offshore drilling conducted by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at Obama's direction. President Barack Obama ordered Salazar to conduct a review of the nation's offshore oil drilling safety after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last month. Salazar's report says that he will not consider applications for permits to drill in the Arctic until 2011. Salazar wants to allow further study of proposed drilling technology and oil spill response capabilities in Arctic waters. (MSNBC, 5/27/10)

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