Time | April 1, 2016 | Donald Loren
We can't afford to say ‘no' to U.S. energy.
The Obama administration recently reversed its 2015 plan to open up waters off the coasts of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia to oil drilling. Officials claim the new decision to ban oil drilling will protect national security. It will do the opposite.
The administration, under constant pressure from environmentalists, has long had an ambivalent view of offshore oil exploration. Plans to open up this part of the Atlantic Ocean for drilling have been on the drawing board for years. This recent decision leaves them in the wastebasket.
Last year, the administration’s opposition appeared to have softened. In January 2015, the White House released a statement proposing to auction drilling rights in up to 104 million acres of the mid- and South-Atlantic in 2021. At the time, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell noted: “This plan takes a balanced approach to oil and gas development. … It protects areas that are just too special to develop.”
Now, 14 months later, the administration has reversed course. What makes this time unique is the administration’s reliance on the supposed concerns of the Department of Defense as the reason not to drill.
Read the full editorial here.
Donald Loren is a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the George W. Bush administration.