WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama announced today that a moratorium on new deepwater oil drilling permits will be continued for six months while a presidential commission investigates. Impending lease sales off the coast of Alaska will also be delayed pending the results of the commission's investigation, and lease sales planned in the Western Gulf and off the coast of Virginia will be cancelled. The president also announced new oversight and safety standards resulting from a 30-day safety review of offshore drilling conducted by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
LCV President Gene Karpinski released the following statement on today’s announcement:
“We commend President Obama for continuing the moratorium on new deepwater oil drilling permits pending the recommendations of the independent presidential commission, which includes delaying leases sales off the coast of Alaska. The ongoing 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.”
“Additionally, we applaud President Obama for yesterday reiterating his desire to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year. We urge the president to now put the full weight of the White House behind working with the Senate to pass strong bipartisan legislation that ends our addiction to oil, builds an American clean energy economy and curbs harmful carbon pollution.”
24 national and Gulf Coast organizations yesterday released an open letter to President Obama urging him to adopt five specific principles as the administration continues efforts to deal with the Gulf Coast oil spill and transition to a clean energy economy. Full text of the letter can be found here: http://bit.ly/principles5
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