Obama: No offshore driling in East Coast waters
WASHINGTON - In a reversal, the Obama administration says it will not pursue offshore drilling in East Coast waters, including the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
A senior administration official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that because of the BP oil spill, the Interior Department will not propose any new oil drilling in the East Coast for at least the next seven years.
Obama's earlier plan - announced in March, three weeks before the April BP spill - would have allowed drilling from Delaware to central Florida, plus the northern waters of Alaska. The new plan allows drilling in Alaska, but officials said they will move autiously before approving any leases.
The eastern Gulf of Mexico was singled out for protection by Congress in 2006 as part of a deal with Florida lawmakers that made available 8.3 million acres to oil and gas development in the east-central Gulf.