Not 14 months after the Obama administration released plans to lease offshore blocks along the United States’ southern Atlantic coast, the White House appears to be backing down to the green outrage predictably inspired by the proposed sale. Amy Harder writes for the WSJ:
The Obama administration is reversing course and planning to withdraw a planned oil and natural gas lease sale off the southeast Atlantic coast, a move that will prompt cheers from coastal communities and environmental groups but criticism from oil companies and some state leaders.In the Interior Department’s latest proposed offshore leasing blueprint, expected to be released Tuesday, the government will remove the one lease sale it had last year initially planned to offer in 2021 in the waters between Virginia and Georgia, according to an Interior Department official.
President Obama initially unveiled this now-defunct proposal to open up the southern Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling at the beginning of last year—the same week that he announced a ban on offshore drilling in areas of the coast of Alaska. This was no accident—it was careful timing to give the appearance at least of balancing industry concerns and the extraordinary promise of the American energy renaissance against the agitations of his green base.It’s clear now that the President is done with that pretense of balancing, and is going all in on protecting his climate legacy.