Digital News Report – President Obama is beginning the process of removing bans of offshore drilling and gas exploration in the United States. Obama has just removed a ban off the Virginia coast which will open up oil and gas exploration in 50 miles off the Atlantic coastline.
Obama said that the reason for this is to help provide for the nation’s energy needs and at the same time increase economic growth and create jobs.
Environmental groups may not be as happy about the oil drilling and exploration. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released a statement in opposition to the removal of the ban for offshore drilling. Brune said, “Drilling areas like the Arctic threatens marine life like whales and polar bears. Where there is offshore drilling, there is a constant danger of oil spills. One oil spill is all it takes to destroy a coastal tourism economy and the jobs that depend on it.”
Obama did cancel a lease sale for oil drilling Alaska Bristol Bay for environmental reasons. Two lease sales at Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas are on hold because more research needs to be conducted for environmental concerns. Obama did approve one deal for Alaska’s Cook Inlet.
Obama wants to move the country to cleaner energy in the years to come. He said that the the goal is to
“move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on homegrown fuels and clean energy.”