Earlier today, President Obama announced that he would propose offshore drilling along much of the East Coast, eastern Gulf of Mexico and in parts of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska. He said the move "is part of a broader strategy that will move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on homegrown fuels and clean energy," adding, "We'll protect areas vital to tourism, the environment and our national security." (See map.)
Obama campaigned on limited offshore drilling as part of a "comprehensive energy policy." The NY Times reports, "The new plan now grants one of the biggest items on the oil industry’s wish list — access to vast areas of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling. But even as Mr. Obama curries favors with pro-drilling interests, he risks a backlash from some coastal governors, senators and environmental advocates, who say that the relatively small amounts of oil to be gained in the offshore areas are not worth the environmental risks." Senator Frank Lautenberg (R-NJ) was unhappy, "Giving Big Oil more access to our nation's waters is really a 'Kill, Baby, Kill' policy. It threatens to kill jobs, kill marine life and kill coastal economies that generate billions of dollars."
And Minority House leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) also rained on Obama's parade, “Opening up areas off the Virginia coast to offshore production is a positive step, but keeping the Pacific Coast and Alaska, as well as the most promising resources of the Gulf of Mexico, under lock and key makes no sense at a time when gasoline prices are rising and Americans are asking ‘Where are the jobs?’”