4 April '10
9:25 AM UTC
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This Week In Green Energy: Obama’s New Drill

Week of March 29 – to – April 2, 2010

The drill flip

Why did he do it? That was the question many people asked this week after President Obama endorsed offshore oil and gas drilling along the Atlantic Coast, from Delaware to central Florida, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s north coast. The announcement follows 14 months of aggressive pro-green policies by the Obama administration.

President Obama justified his decision as an extension of his ongoing “pan-energy” policy, in which renewable energy is one prong and the development of next-generation nuclear reactors and exploration for new oil reserves is the other.

Politically, after a bruising, yearlong fight in Congress over health care, the Obama administration sees offshore drilling as a bi-partisan issue that could get Republicans to support a comprehensive climate change and energy bill. Will it? That’s hard to predict, as Republicans, saying his move doesn’t go far enough, quickly criticized the president for maintaining the ban on much of the Pacific Coast. His decision, not surprisingly, also angered the environmental community.

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31 March '10
2:38 PM UTC
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  Policy

Obama’s Offshore Drillling Proposal: The Scorecard

So, did Obama thread the needle today in giving the oil and gas crowd what they want but not alienating environmentalists and liberal Democrats? The scorecard is still being tallied.

Florida’s Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who authored a 2006 law that keeps oil rigs 100 miles offshore, said he had been worried that Obama’s plan would damage Florida’s economy and environment but the administration “”.

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31 March '10
10:18 AM UTC
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  Policy

Obama To Expand Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling, Next Stop: A Climate Change Law [Update]

President Obama is set to announce an unprecedented expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling on the Atlantic Coast (as far north as Delaware) as well as the Florida Gulf Coast and parts of Alaska. This is a big shift to the right for the Obama administration and major reversal of the country’s energy policy.

The president is expected to make an announcement today at 11:00 AM ET. Obama will specifically lift a long-time moratorium banning oil exploration on the East Coast and will open 167 million acres for oil and gas exploration and eventually, production.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar tells Bloomberg News that oil exploration could start this summer.

The news  will obviously anger Obama’s environmental base, which will point out that on the campaign trail, while his opponents rode the “drill, baby, drill” wave, he argued that expanding domestic oil and gas production would not lower energy costs (at the time a barrel was trading at triple digits).

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