Obama suspends/cancels offshore oil and gas lease sales, extends deepwater drilling moratorium
Noting that domestic oil and gas development is an essential part of overall U.S. energy strategy, President Obama today detailed his immediate plans for offshore energy development, plans which include suspending/canceling lease sales in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico and Virginia (scroll down for video).
At his first White House press conference in quite some time, President Obama said that in addition to establishing aggressive new operating standards and requirements for offshore energy companies, his administration would take the following immediate steps:
1. Suspend planned exploration of two locations off coast of Alaska;
2. Cancel pending lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico and proposed lease sale off coast of Virginia;
3. Continue existing moratorium and suspend issuance of new permits to drill new deepwater wells for six months;
4. Suspend action on 33 deepwater exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.
"We can all acknowledge that there have been times when the government has overreached," said President Obama, explaining that the period of the last several years of self-regulating in the oil industry is not one of those instances.
"This oil spill has made clear that more reform is needed," said the President.
Photo: dsearls via flickr