Guess Florida trumps Louisiana with its electoral votes.WASHINGTON ó Pointing to the BP blowout and risks of a new environmental disaster, the Obama administration reversed itself Wednesday and promised not to pursue offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else along the nation's East Coast.
The administration had backed a major expansion of offshore drilling earlier this year, in part to gain support for comprehensive climate legislation in Congress, one of President Barack Obama's top legislative goals.
With that bill now off the table, the president stands much to gain politically by saying no to powerful oil interests, particularly in Florida, which is expected to be a crucial swing state in the 2012 election campaign.
I wonder how this makes us less dependent on imported energy sources? Or creates jobs in the US? Or helps the economy in any way?"In the Gulf and the Atlantic we are adjusting our strategy," Salazar said. "We believe the most appropriate course of action is to focus development on areas with existing leases and not expand to new areas at this time."
Under the revised plan, the Interior Department will not propose any new oil drilling in waters in the Atlantic Ocean and eastern Gulf for at least the next seven years. Already-planned lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, expected in March and August, will be delayed until late 2011 or early 2012, Salazar said.