Obama Announces New Offshore Drilling Policy 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 31 Mar 2010 14:42:00 GMT

Today, President Barack Obama announced a sweeping new offshore drilling policy, opening “vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling” for the first time. This plan would also restore the ban on drilling in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. White House officials “pitched the changes as ways to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil and create jobs,” the Associated Press reports. For years, Obama has explained that new offshore drilling would not “reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil” :

“The days of running a 21st century economy on a 20th century fossil fuel are numbered – and we need to realize that before it’s too late.”

“The truth is, an oil future is not a secure future for America.”

“We could open up every square inch of America to drilling and we still wouldn’t even make a dent in our oil dependency.” 9/15/05

“It would be nice if we could produce our way out of this problem, but it’s just not possible.” 2/28/06

“Instead of making tough political decisions about how to reduce our insatiable demand for oil, this bill continues to lull the American people into thinking that we can drill our way out of our energy problems. ” 8/1/06

“Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.” 8/28/08

In the beginning of August 2008, as Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future (ASWF) “Drill Here, Drill Now” campaign overlapped the presidential campaign, and oil and gas prices were skyrocketing to record levels, Obama abandoned his “blanket opposition to expanded offshore drilling,” saying that he would be willing “to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage” in order to get Republican votes for comprehensive climate and energy reform.

In 2005 and 2006, Obama talked about the “tough decisions” of “how to reduce our insatiable demand for oil” and “investing in more hybrids and renewable energy sources, raising CAFE standards and helping our auto industry transition to a fuel-efficient future,” instead of drilling. In his State of the Union speech in 2010, in contrast, Obama said that “clean energy jobs” means “making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.”

Conservatives are treating the announcement with disdain— ASWF said the president’s plan “is likely to be an attempt by Obama to seduce the public (into) believing that he will do something in the future on offshore drilling,” but amounts to little more than window-dressing. Americans for Prosperity vice president Phil Kerpen commented that “the idea that this is a big concession in exchange for which Congress should jumpstart climate legislation is ridiculous.”

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  1. cameron keller Mon, 31 May 2010 22:41:06 GMT

    i don’t understand why people are making the oil spill problem somehow seem like it was Obama’s policy that caused it. I mean sure, drilling offshore is risky, but in the end, it was BP’s carelessness that in turn caused the huge spill. It’s understandable to say that Obama maybe should add back up plans for enviornmental disaster’s that tie in with offshore drilling so another gulf coast spill is prevented. We should learn from BP’s incompetent example and improve from our mistakes.

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