Obama To Reverse Offshore Drilling Ban

President Barack Obama is reversing a long-standing ban on most offshore drilling. He's 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.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news begins with the reversal of offshore drilling.

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MONTAGNE: President Barack Obama has overturned a ban that has limited most oil drilling off the East Coast for more than 20 years. His proposal allows drilling 50 miles off Virginia's shorelines. At the same time, it prohibits some new sites planned for Alaska. Environmentalists have long opposed more oil platforms along the nation's coastlines.

White House officials say the plan will create jobs and reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil. They hope the plan will also pay off politically, attracting Republican support for the president's bill on climate change.

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