Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Obama sets sights on midterm elections, lifts drilling moratorium

The Obama administration Monday lifted its ban on deepwater drilling, which was initially scheduled to end November 30:
The timing of the announcement - six weeks ahead of schedule and three weeks before congressional and state elections - could give Democrats a boost at the polls. The moratorium has been blamed for thousands of lost jobs in an already damaged economy and posed a potential drag on some Gulf-area Democrats' election prospects...

Greenpeace USA Executive Director Phil Radford called the decision "pure politics of the most cynical kind."

"It is all about the election season, not safety and environmental concerns," Radford said. "The White House wants us to believe that they have solved all the dangers of offshore drilling and we can return to business as usual. It is a false promise, if not a big lie..."
From the New York Times Dot Earth blog:
Obama’s Haste On Resumed Offshore Drilling:

This year’s Gulf of Mexico gusher seemed to pose potent political perils just a few months ago, but all along its significance was blunted by the reality that it did not affect oil or gas prices, which have stayed relatively low. So while it was upsetting for shrimpers, marine biologists and coastal communities, it was really a yawn for the average American.

That lack of political punch is crystal clear now, as the Obama administration, perhaps hoping to help embattled Democrats at the polls next month, has ended its moratorium on offshore oil drilling...

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