In the spring of 2010, Obama lifted a ban on offshore drilling that had been in place for decades. Offshore drilling is now legal off the Virginia coast, other areas of the mid- and south Atlantic, the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico, and in areas off Alaska. The only off-limits areas are now the West coast and Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Obama has stated that his decision to allow offshore drilling is part of his policy to develop clean energy by utilizing domestic resources of energy while preserving the country’s national resources.
See the later news report here:
“Obama” does not allow or disallow such things, which are regulated by laws. The administration imposed a short-lived moratorium on new drilling permits, the issuance of which is under the purview of an Executive Branch department, in the deep water Gulf of Mexico last year, but drilling continued throughout that period by those who had permits already. The longstanding moratorium on drilling offshore the east coast is congressionally mandated; the Obama administration (or any other) may oppose or support such things but it is up to congress to change or leave unchanged.
Offshore drilling in the US has been essentially continuous since the 1940s. To disallow offshore oil drilling and production would be to reduce US oil supplies by nearly one-third, since 32% of US domestic oil comes from offshore – the great majority in the Gulf of Mexico. There are no substantial other places to replace that oil from domesticall – not in that kind of volume. So the trade-off, at present consumption levels, would be to increase imports by 2 million barrels per day.
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