Drill, Baby, Drill: Obama Calls For Lifting of 20 Year Ban on Drilling Off Virginia Coastline

Civil libertarians have long complained that, as soon as he got into office, President Barack Obama appeared to morph into former President George Bush on everything from surveillance policies to blocking investigations of torture. Now, environmentalists may join that chorus of criticism with Obama wanting to lift a 20-year ban on drilling off the Virginia coastline — as well as to open large areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama insists that the answer is “drill, baby, drill” — to paraphrase the GOP — and that such development is needed “[t]o set America on a path to energy independence, the president believes we must leverage our diverse domestic resources by pursuing a comprehensive energy strategy.”

He also wants the Interior Department to survey other areas along the Eastern shore for drilling and exploration. These are sensitive areas already dealing with threats caused by pollution.

This was one of the issues that environmentalists pressed Obama on when he was running for president, here. At the time, in relation to the same question regarding Florida’s coast, he said “when I’m president, I intend to keep in place the moratorium here in Florida and around the country that prevents oil companies from drilling off Florida’s coasts. That’s how we can protect our coastline and still make the investments that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and bring down gas prices for good.”

For the full story, click here.

60 thoughts on “Drill, Baby, Drill: Obama Calls For Lifting of 20 Year Ban on Drilling Off Virginia Coastline”

  1. BVM I beat you by a few days. I posted that over at the Orly thread.


    A U.S. Army flight surgeon who posted a video indicating his complete rejection of all orders from the military unless Barack Obama documents his eligibility to occupy the Oval Office is now refusing an “unofficial” suggestion from the Army for a medical evaluation.

    “It is interesting this suggestion of a medical exam should arise now given he was only a couple of weeks from deployment and obviously judged to be fit for deployment with his bags packed.

    the controversy raises the prospect that the government may be unwilling to pursue a prosecution because of the possible ramifications – which could include a defense lawyer’s demand for a court-ordered discovery process that would target Obama’s historical documentation

    Even participants in a forum on the left-leaning Huffington Post website seemed to agree in part.

    “Freakin’ Brilliant!” said one. “They can’t court-martial him [without] the defense getting the judge to order the the (sic) birth-certificate be produced! Either Obama will have to produce or they can’t prosecute. Genius.”


  2. “President Obama, I ask you to respect and uphold the Constitution. Be transparent and show your honesty and integrity. Release your original, signed birth certificate, if you have one, thus proving your birth on American soil, and thus assure the American people that you are lawfully eligible to hold the office of the presidency and serve as commander in chief of the Armed Forces.”

  3. Gyges:

    I think what I said was accurate. And if we limit it to American waters the amount of oil from rigs is very small. I dont think drilling for oil offshore in this day and age would cause an environmental disaster.

  4. Byron,

    You know me and accuracy and nuance.
    “Oil rigs have caused large spills in the past, but technology has advanced to the point where that is much less likely to happen now” is a much more reasonable position (with actual factual support), than “Oils rigs don’t cause big spills.”

  5. Mike A:

    I was pointing out Le Brea as an example of how petroleum does and has come to the surface and I am pretty sure that in the last few million years it has gotten into the ocean from a similar source.

    Why is venture capital going overseas? I would say they have a better opportunity to make money in a more hospitable environment. If we would make our economy more hospitable to risk, maybe they would stay here.

  6. Byron, I understand what you’re saying, but the choice isn’t between prosperity and not drilling. My point is that “drill, baby, drill” is an invitation to continue living in a fool’s paradise. We are sending venture capital overseas to fund a variety of innovative approaches to energy creation. And we’re more dependent of oil from the Middle East now than we were during Carter’s presidency. Those two things don’t appear to reflect sound energy policy.

    Secondly, the tar in La Brea stays in the pits. The ocean is a whole different animal.

  7. Mike A:

    Don’t worry it isn’t going to happen, the oil companies will be tied up in court for years before they can drill. So this is just a bunch of BS to get conservatives on board.

    But the one thing that everyone seems to forget is that if there is no industry there is no prosperity.

    And no one said there isn’t some leakage from rigs. But oil is a natural product. Don’t you think that over the history of the earth it has leaked out of reservoirs naturally? Think Le Brea tar pits. There was no long term effect seeing as how life on earth is still flourishing.

  8. I have heard politicians preach about the need to end dependency on foreign oil throughout my entire adult life. Human nature being what it is, however, that will not happen without pain, and none of us is willing to endure even slight discomfort if we believe it can be avoided. Pres. Obama’s drilling proposals merely prolong the inevitable and reflect the same shortsightedness that has resulted in our falling behind other countries in the development of alternative fuel technology.

    Rahm Emanuel must be buying large chunks of stock in the company that makes Vaseline. Once again the Adminstration is telling progressives that we had better get over the President’s adoption of Republican policies because we have nowhere else to go.

    The promotion of drilling offshore is bad policy for a number of reasons:
    1. It encourages complacency and discourages capital investment in technologies that make long-term sense.
    2. The known and suspected reserves will not put a dent in our projected needs.
    3. Despite talk of safety records, it only takes one spill to wreak devastation. The effects of the Exxon Valdez still linger and have not even been fully measured after twenty years.
    4. Anyone who believes that there is no leakage from offshore wells is silly. Take a walk along the beaches of Mississippi and Texas, but be sure to carry your tar remover with you.
    5. The reef systems off the southern coast of Florida and the Florida Keys are highly vulnerable to pollution. I don’t know this from reading what academics have to say. I have been a scuba diver for 30 years and have personally observed the gradual deterioration of the reefs due to our insistence on treating the ocean as a toilet and garbage dump.

    We need to get over ourselves and our false fears that increasing fuel costs will harm our collective “lifestyle,” whatever the hell that means. More offshore drilling will solve nothing, and its promotion is disingenuous pandering.

  9. the big question is if they drill off virginia how are going to get the oil to china. california you’re next.

  10. It is a well-known fact that global warming is melting the Arctic ice cap.

    As this happens, the natural resources in the Arctic will become available for exploitation. As such, the five countries with major claims to the region—the United States, Canada, Russia, Denmark, and Norway—are looking to extend their claims to the natural resources beneath the ice-covered ocean. The size of the Arctic Shelf is about 4.5 million square kilometers, and the U.S. Geological Survey posits that 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered gas and oil reserves may be there. Clearly, there are large amounts of untapped resources that these five countries could use to satisfy their increasing demand for development and economy.
    This paper will try to explore the current disputes over Arctic seabed resources surrounding the five states in North Pole,
    evaluate the regimes for resolving the conflict in UNCLOS. Furthermore, the paper will introduce the appropriate points
    of view and discuss the alternative dispute settlement mechanism (DSM) for this significant problem caused by global
    warming in the coming future.


    Barring an about face by nature or adjustments, it appears that for the first time since 2001, Arctic Sea ice will hit the “normal” line as defined by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) for this time of year.

    NSIDC puts out an article about once a month called the Sea Ice News. It generally highlights any bad news they can find about the disappearance of Arctic ice. Last month’s news led with this sentence.

    In February, Arctic sea ice extent continued to track below the average, and near the levels observed for February 2007.

    But March brought good news for the Polar Bears, and bad news for the Catlin Expedition and any others looking for bad news. Instead of ice extent declining through March like it usually does, it continued to increase through the month and is now at the high (so far) for the year.

    If it keeps this trend unabated, in a day or two it will likely cross the “normal” line.

  11. You have not provided any info on American rig disasters in American waters.

    Thats because there are none. It’s all in the transportation of oil and those were due to negligence.

  12. Gyges:

    Ok that was 30 years ago and the technology is quite a bit better now. You have not provided any info on American rig disasters in American waters.

  13. Byron,

    Right, I get that. But you said, “I don’t know of any oil leak disasters from rigs. There may be some minor leakage but not millions of barrels. ”

    I’m just pointing out that:

    “Occasional major accidents caused by an oil well eruption or an act of war can be added to the list of causes of large-scale oil slicks. One of these incidents holds second place in the ranking of oil spill world records.”


    “On 3 June 1979, in the Gulf of Mexico, the offshore platform Ixtoc 1, run by the national company Petroleos Mexicanos, was destroyed by a blow out. A fire broke out. The blow out was not reduced until 23 March 1980, by which time half a million to possibly even a million tonnes of oil had been released. ”

    would seem to render that inaccurate.

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