President Obama on Wednesday announced a plan to expand offshore oil and gas drilling to parts of the mid-Atlantic coast, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and northern Alaska. The new rules would end a longstanding moratorium on drilling along much of the East coast, from Delaware to Florida.
“In the short term, as we transition to clean energy sources […] We have to make some tough decisions about opening new areas to offshore oil exploration” the president said in an announcement at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington. “This is not a decision I made lightly,” he added.
Watch an excerpt of his remarks here:
Under the plan, new areas will be open to drilling off the Atlantic coast south of New Jersey, in the eastern Gulf of Mexico — but no closer to the Florida shoreline than 125 miles — and in parts of Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort seas in the Arctic Ocean. Alaska’s Bristol Bay will remain closed to drilling.