Atlantic Coast out of Interior’s oil leasing plans
No oil derricks in the Atlantic - for now.
The Department of the Interior's finalized plan for oil and gas leasing on the Outer Contiental Shelf has no provisions for new territory on the southern Atlantic seaboard, according to information from shore Representative Frank Pallone (D-6).
The revision covers the area from the Virginia to Georgia coasts. President Obama had sought to open more than 100,000,000 acres in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern Atlantic to leases and exploration, but relented under withering and strident opposition by environmentalists and coastal towns and retained a moratorium this past March.
Earlier this week, concerned about President-elect Donald Trump's potential energy strategies, the Long Branch Democrat urged President Obama to authorize the ban before the end of his term.
He also gathered signatures of 73 House colleagues, pressing the President to place a permanent drlling ban on the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
"I am pleased and relieved that the Department of Interior's final plan abandons its earlier proposal to allow drilling in the Atlantic from Georgia to Virginia," Pallone said.
"That proposal was incredibly shortsighted, and would have threatened the ecology and economy, and public health all along the Atlantic coast, including our New Jersey coastline."
Pallone originated legislation for controls on offshore drilling in 2010, predating the Deepwater Horizon spill. The COAST Anti-Drilling Act (HR-1977) has 30 cosponsors in the House, and a companion bill in the Senate submitted by Menendez.
The Congressman continues to call for a de-emphasis on drilling and a transition to clean and alternative energy sources.