Official Says U.S. Won't End Drilling Ban in Eastern Gulf
The Obama administration is rescinding its decision to allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast because of the BP oil spill, an administration official said.
The official said that drilling would remain under a moratorium for those areas for at least the next five years, until stronger safety and environmental standards are in place. Drilling will continue in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, although under a set of new safeguards put in place since the deadly BP explosion and oil spill in April.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the expansion of drilling in March, just weeks before the BP accident, as part of a political plan to encourage more domestic oil production in exchange for limits on carbon emissions. The eastern Gulf and the Atlantic seaboard had been off-limits to oil companies for years because of congressional opposition.