From the Department of Silver Linings: Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas are safe, at least for the moment. And Virginia’s offshore lease appears to be, well, dead in the water. Thanks, BP!
In the Obama administration’s most decisive policy response yet to the BP oil spill, today Barack Obama delayed or canceled deepwater offshore oil exploration and drilling in Alaska, Virginia and the Gulf of Mexico.
The move signals a major reversal, coming less than 60 days after Obama’s proposed expansion of offshore drilling. Specific changes include:
- Suspending exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the coast of Alaska,
- Canceling the pending lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico and the proposed lease sale off the coast of Virginia,
- Extending the moratorium on new deep-water wells for six months,
- Suspending action on 33 deep-water exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.
This scuttles Shell’s “ambitious oil-drilling program in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska this summer,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Well, if this move wasn’t a no-brainer, I don’t know what would be. Think the general public has a new appreciation for the hazards of offshore drilling?
Now if we can get some real funding for renewable energy, rather than just lip service.
Check out Obama’s announcement here: