The Obama Administration decided to open a “vast stretch” of America’s eastern coastal waters to oil and gas drilling earlier this week, the New York Times reported.
Angering environmentalists, the Interior Department announced this part of its five-year plan for the “government to sell leases for oil and gas development in federal waters from 2017 to 2022.”
Obama’s plan would open up an area in the southeastern Atlantic and increase the areas in the Gulf of Mexico in which drilling is allowed.
Never mind the fact that the Gulf Coast continues to feel the effects of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. Balls of black tar are still washing ashore on beaches throughout the Gulf.
Environmentalists, according to the Times, say that opening the waters on the coasts of Virginia all the way down to Georgia would put these areas at risk of a similar fate as the Gulf Coast. Any disaster could affect tourism, fishing, and “other coastal industries that are already major drivers of the Southeastern economy.”
The only victory for the planet in this plan is that it will ban drilling in portions of the Arctic Ocean, namely the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.
Opening up more of America’s coasts to dangerous oil and natural gas drilling rigs demonstrates perfectly the federal government’s willingness to ignore the possible dire consequences in the name of cheap oil. America should be leading the way in innovation when it comes to clean, renewable energy, not increasing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.