Obama Reverses Decision Expanding Offshore Drilling
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
And oil is trading at around $87 a barrel this morning. Prices have been rising in recent weeks, in part fueled by optimism about the U.S. economy. A positive jobs report out yesterday may be fueling that optimism.
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
NPR's Greg Allen reports.
GREG ALLEN: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the new direction on offshore drilling in a conference call Wednesday. For at least the next seven years, he said, no oil and gas drilling will be allowed in the Atlantic off the East Coast or in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. And in Alaska, he said the department will proceed cautiously before granting any new leases. There's really just one reason for the policy change, he said, but it's a big one.
KEN SALAZAR: The changes that we are making today really are based on the lessons that we have been learning, and knowing that there is a robust safety regime that we are standing up to prevent another Deepwater Horizon incident from occurring again.
ALLEN: David Mica, head of the Florida Petroleum Council, says the administration should be able to develop new protocols and safeguards without an outright ban on drilling in new areas.
DAVID MICA: We don't ground our aircrafts after an air crash, nor should we stop production of oil and gas here in the United States while these changes are made.
ALLEN: Greg Allen, NPR News, Miami.
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