White House Bans Offshore Drilling For Seven More Years

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it would not propose any new oil drilling in waters off the East Coast of the United States for at least the next seven years.

This announcement is a complete reversal of an earlier plan revealed just weeks before the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The March 2010 plan would have authorized officials to explore potential for drilling from Delaware to central Florida, plus the northern waters of Alaska, according to MPR News.

The new drilling plan for the eastern Gulf of Mexico comes just 3 months after the Obama administration put an early end to the deepwater drilling moratorium enacted after the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

“Drilling will continue in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, although under a set of new safeguards put in place after the deadly BP explosion and oil spill in April. Future gulf leases will be subject to further environmental and safety studies,” reports the New York Times

Since the BP oil spill, residents and politicians in Gulf Coast states, as well as environmental protection organizations, have been begging the Federal Government to reconsider its plans to pursue expanded offshore drilling.

While this news reduces the danger of a repeat of the BP oil spill, which released an estimated 172 million gallons of oil into the fragile Gulf ecosystem, it doesn’t necessarily signal the end of the dangerous practice.

The seven year ban does not affect oil company plans to drill in Alaska’s delicate Beaufort and Chukchi seas despite the fact that there is currently no technology available to clean up a catastrophic oil spill in the icy Alaskan waters.

For now though, it’s important to celebrate this victory for the environment, the Gulf, and the clean energy economy.



Warren Webber
Warren Webber5 years ago

Good job, Obama. But it still won't convince me to vote for you again! I already lost hope for you with the lousy excuse for a health care bill & all your other waffling!

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

Good, but a spill -- which will happen -- in the turbulent Alaskan waters, will be far worse to clean up. The Gulf is not "clean", and won't be for decades. A research ship found oil 30 miles ease of the wellhead in the Gulf.

Yes, oil will be here for years, but we have to have a real plan to convert to solar, wind, hydroelectric, energy from wastes, using warmth from the earth. We have to spend money to research other avenues of renewable energy, so that we can, -- sooner rather than later, -- leave oil and coal behind. We have to be SMART, because we're destroying the only world we have to live on.

Colleen Beckman
Colleen Beckman5 years ago

Yes I do support this, we can get oil in other ways.

James D.
James D.5 years ago

my bad... didn't finish reading the question... "do you support offshore drilling ban"... I didn't read the last word and then voted NO the first time... ooops... I support the ban until it's 110% safe... that means they have several contingency plans in place for any and all mishaps or disaster... also they must be held for criminal charges if they try to hide data, facts, intelligence,ect; they lie; they injure emplyees...

Roy V.
Roy Vanderleelie5 years ago

Interesting to note that as soon as the ban was announced, oil prices shot up. Oil companies and oil speculators are making us pay for this. Maybe the time has come to take some of these low life greedy bastards behind the barn and teach them a lesson in civility.

Barbara T.
Barbara Trypaluk5 years ago

Puppet in chief, Mr.Obama, should have fired Ken Salazar after the Gulf oil spill for the role he played in allowing the drilling to move ahead without an environmental review. I think it's unbelievable that BP's drilling project up in Alaska is moving ahead despite their failures in the Gulf. Have you heard enough? One more thought: I think dear Mr.President and Salazar have written off Alaska and it's ecosystem, and could care less if it became another sludge-covered coastline.

Phil S.
Phil S.5 years ago

Preventing us from drilling, while subsidizing foreign drilling is hypocracy. Again we are putting ourselves in a more dependent position to foreign sources. Allowing the prices to rise as they are is nothing more than another tax on the consumer. Forcing the prices up on oil to make it more on par with "clean" energy is not the best interest of everyday Americans. It affects the lower and middle class people (who can least afford it) the most. Have you checked the price of gas lately? How much was it when this administration took over? Keep punishing the little guy!

Patricia S.
Pat S.5 years ago

I'm afraid oil is here for many, many more years, folks!

Past Member 5 years ago

not enough..we need the ban for the gulf, the pacific, the alaskan waters...everywhere that is along our shores....

Tsilos S.
Tsilos Kosbab5 years ago

Too bad Alaska wasn't included in the 7 year ban. In the next 7 years they ought to be working on new legislation and laws so that when the ban is over there are stricter policies in place.