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Wednesday
Dec012010

Obama: No New Offshore Oil Drilling in East

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration, reversing itself in the wake of April's BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has let it be known that it will maintain a long-standing ban on offshore oil drilling off the East Coast or western coast of Florida -- and political activists of all stripes are weighing in with delight or outrage.

Charlie Crist, the outgoing governor of Florida (a Republican turned Independent this year), told local reporters in Tallahassee the decision was "wonderful news."

"That's news that will be very favorably received by the tourist industry throughout the state, but also by the people," Crist said.

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, said the administration was continuing a "misguided policy." "The Administration is taking the wrong approach in responding to the BP spill and creating energy jobs in this country.  The answer isn’t to give up and say, ‘America can’t figure it out, we’ll rely on other countries to produce our energy.’  The answer is to find out what went wrong and make effective, timely reforms to ensure that U.S. offshore drilling is the safest in the world," said Hastings.

Environmental groups, on the other hand, applauded. “As we saw this summer, offshore oil drilling cannot be done safely," said Andrew Sharpless, CEO of the group Oceana.  "It wrecks fisheries, kills the jobs that depend upon them, and contaminates beaches. This decision is a wise and sensible step to protect Florida, the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast from an inevitable disaster from expanded drilling.  It’s great to see the government acting in a strong, clear and far-sighted way to protect the oceans – and the people who work and depend on them."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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    Obama: No New Offshore Oil Drilling in East - National News - ABC News Radio

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