Exhibit A: Platform Holly at the South Ellwood Offshore Oil Field near Santa Barbara, Calif.
Just before he skedaddled out of the White House, President Bush worked out a scheme to make millions of acres of the American coast available for offshore drilling, but on Tuesday, President Obama’s interior secretary, Ken Salazar, brought those plans to a halt, at least for the next six months.
The Bush proposal “opened the possibility of oil and gas leases along the entire Eastern seaboard, portions of offshore California and the far eastern Gulf of Mexico with almost no consultation from states, industry or community input,” Salazar said at a news conference in Washington. “In my view it was a headlong rush of the worst kind.”
He said his agency will hold four public meetings over the next few months - one in Alaska, one on the West Coast, one along the East Coast and one near the Gulf Coast - to hear from governors, local officials, industry groups and environmentalists about the plan.