Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's the drill?

There has been a long-standing moratorium on oil and gas drilling along much of the east coast of the United States. That, evidently, is about to change.

Obama to allow drilling 50 miles off Va. coast

WASHINGTON -- In a reversal of a long-standing ban on most offshore drilling, President Barack Obama is allowing oil drilling 50 miles off Virginia's shorelines. At the same time, he is rejecting some new drilling sites that had been planned in Alaska.
Obama's plan offers few concessions to environmentalists, who have been strident in their opposition to more oil platforms off the nation's shores. Hinted at for months, the plan modifies a ban that for more than 20 years has limited drilling along coastal areas other than the Gulf of Mexico. . .
Thus began an article in this morning's Richmond Times-Dispatch. The Washington Post reports that the move will anger environmentalists and please oil and gas companies.
The drilling policy represents the White House's latest attempt to straddle a middle ground on climate and energy policy, an effort that has already seen steps to boost domestic energy production and demands for stricter limits on greenhouse-gas emissions. This week the administration will finalize the nation's first greenhouse-gas limits for emissions from cars and light trucks, regulations that will boost the fuel economy of the U.S. vehicle fleet over several years.
Interestingly, at the time I'm posting this, there was no mention of the expected announcement in The Dallas Morning News, which reports from arguably the heart of the American oil industry.

Trolling the web for perspective on this announcement, I came across this article about then Senator Obama on the campaign trail, posted August 3, 2008, on CNN.
Sen. Barack Obama responded Saturday to criticism that he has changed his position on opposing offshore oil drilling.
Obama said Friday that he would be willing to compromise on his position against offshore oil drilling if it were part of a more overarching strategy to lower energy costs.
"My interest is in making sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices," Obama told The Palm Beach Post early into a two-day swing through Florida.
But on Saturday morning, Obama said this "wasn't really a new position."
"I made a general point about the fact that we need to provide the American people some relief and that there has been constructive conversations between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate on this issue," he said during a press conference in Cape Canaveral.
"What I will not do, and this has always been my position, is to support a plan that suggests this drilling is the answer to our energy problems," Obama added.
"If we've got a plan on the table that I think meets the goals that America has to set and there are some things in there that I don't like, then obviously that's something that I would consider because that's the nature of how we govern in a democracy."
So, WMRA community of listeners, what's your reaction? Good move? Bad move? Necessary move? Politically expedient move? 
NOTE: April 1st ON POINT (10 a.m.--noon) on WMRA
President Obama’s Energy Vision - President Obama announces plans to drill for oil offshore. On Point looks at the politics behind the move - - and Obama s energy vision now.
NOTE #2:  map of proposed drilling area off Virginia coast

1 comment:

  1. I am deeply disappointed that Virginia is going to allow - no, too soft of a word - Virginia is encouraging off shore drilling. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay - born in the late 50's - and I remember all the spillage from the Navy ships that tarred the bottom of my feet. It is foolish to believe this won't affect the quality of life along the coast.