This is a major victory for all those who have fought hard (see NTA partner list) to prevent new offshore drilling since the federal and executive moratoriums were not renewed in the fall of 2008.
Until today, the last 2 years have been full of bad news.
At the 11th hour the Bush administration proposed opening all coasts to drilling.
Despite massive opposition and no real evidence domestic drilling would help solve our energy crisis, in March 2010 the Obama administration proposed open vast tracts of ocean to offshore drilling.
We all know what followed… the largest offshore oil spill in world history.
Thankfully, Salazar and Obama seemed to have learned from the Gulf oil spill, listened to the science, and the continued public opposition to new offshore drilling and have decided that there will be no new offshore drilling lease tracts opened in the Pacific, Atlantic and eastern Gulf for the next 7 years.
Although this is great news and a major step towards protecting out coasts from the threats of offshore drilling, some really critical issues remain. This recent announcement potentially opens the Atlantic to harmful seismic testing and allows for new drilling in Alaska. Further, we cannot forget that hundreds of Gulf Shore communities continue to struggle to recover from this nation’s most devastating environmental disaster.
Read the Department of Interior’s press release and supporting documents here
Read an ABC news story here.