The Obama administration is expected to withdraw its proposal to allow oil and gas drilling off the southeastern Atlantic coast.
The announcement, expected to be made today by US secretary of the interior Sally Jewell, is a reversal from the administration’s earlier plan to lease about 104 million acres off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia between 2017-2022.
Citing anonymous sources, both The New York Times and Bloomberg News today reported that the administration has changed its course, following backlash from environmentalists. The southeastern governors and the oil industry have lobbied for offshore drilling.
Late last year the Obama administration cancelled 2016 and 2017 Arctic oil drilling lease sales.
The US Department of the Interior in October said it will cancel two oil companies’ potential Arctic offshore lease sales scheduled under the current five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program for 2012-2017. It also denied Shell and Statoil’s requests to extend the time on leases that they currently hold.
Photo credit: offshore drilling via Shutterstock