WASHINGTON – Today the Department of the Interior announced they will not allow offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or areas off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as part of the next five-year offshore drilling plan, which runs from 2012 to 2017. The administration also announced that further environmental review is needed to determine if Shell Oil can proceed with drilling in the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean.
In response to the Obama administration’s announcement on offshore drilling, LCV President Gene Karpinski today released the following statement:
“We commend President Obama for protecting much of America’s coasts from the all too evident perils of offshore drilling. The recent tragedy in the Gulf Coast clearly demonstrates that our dependence on oil – be it from hostile nations or friendly coasts – hurts our economy, threatens our security and harms our environment.
However, we are disappointed that drilling in the especially fragile Arctic is still under consideration. The damage to the Gulf Coast continues and the full impacts of a blowout in the icy Arctic waters have yet to be quantified, and effective spill cleanup capacity in this remote area is severely lacking.
As the president himself has said on numerous occasions, the nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century’s global economy. We applaud President Obama for transitioning our nation away from dangerous offshore drilling and we look forward to continuing to work together to promote initiatives that will move us towards cleaner, more secure sources of energy made in America.”