On the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, industry forecasters believe the U.S. is on track to increase its overall oil production this year as projects outside of the Gulf of Mexico take priority.

The Obama administration imposed a moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf after the oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010, and the subsequent spill. Despite the fact that BP will not be able to drill in the Gulf until at least July, other projects are taking up the slack. These include the extraction of oil deposits from Bakken shale in North Dakota and Montana. With an array of questions still unanswered about the safety of drilling in the Gulf region, it’s clear that public opinion favors aggressive domestic drilling. —KDG


With gas prices rising again and the economy teetering, the push to expand offshore drilling — including into sensitive Arctic waters — is only growing stronger. “The industry and the federal agencies have made some progress,” says Fran Ulmer, a member of the President’s oil-spill commission and chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. “But not enough needed action has been taken.”

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