Dec 1, 2010 12:23 PM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere
WASHINGTON (AP) - 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 said 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 beforethe 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 cautiously 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.