Obama Reverses Course on Drilling Off Southeast Coast

15-Mar-2016

The Obama administration is expected to withdraw its plan to permit oil and gas drilling off the southeast Atlantic coast, yielding to an outpouring of opposition from coastal communities from Virginia to Georgia but dashing the hopes and expectations of many of those states’ top leaders.

The announcement by the Interior Department, which is seen as surprising, could come as soon as Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the decision who was not authorized to speak on the record because the plan had not been publicly disclosed.


The decision represents a reversal of President Obama’s previous offshore drilling plans, and comes as he is trying to build an ambitious environmental legacy. It could also inject the issue into the 2016 presidential campaigns, as Republican candidates vow to expand drilling.

The proposal came after governors, state legislators and senators from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia all expressed support for the drilling. Lawmakers in the state capitals saw new drilling as creating jobs and bolstering state revenue. (By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times)