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Yesterday the Obama administration announced a delaying tactic which will put off the possibility of new offshore oil drilling on the Atlantic coast for at least five years:
The announcement by the Interior Department sets into motion what will be at least a five year environmental survey to determine whether and where oil production might occur.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell notes that a planned lease sale, which the administration cancelled last year, will now be put off until at least 2018. As you might expect, Republicans were not impressed with the decision:
"The president's actions have closed an entire new area to drilling on his watch and cheats Virginians out of thousands of jobs," said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee. The announcement "continues the president's election-year political ploy of giving speeches and talking about drilling after having spent the first three years in office blocking, delaying and driving up the cost of producing energy in America," he said.
Finally, given that this is the Obama administration, you won't be surprised to learn that oil and gas exploration is not the only aim of the survey:
In addition to assessing how much oil and natural gas is in the area, seismic testing would help determine the best places for wind turbines and other renewable energy projects, locate sand and gravel for restoring eroding coastal areas, and identify cultural artifacts such as historic sunken ships.
The Post reports that environmentalists are already opposing the survey which, conveniently, won't begin until after the election.
The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills.
The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig last week...
... regulators in two major oil-producing countries, Norway and Brazil, in effect require them. Norway has had acoustic triggers on almost every offshore rig since 1993.
The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn't needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well.
The U.K., where BP is headquartered, doesn't require the use of acoustic triggers.
Originally posted by pirhanna
Too bad those in charge of government and industry haven't implemented
the infrastructure to adapt to renewable energy ...
we'd not be paying so much for energy right now
The technology has been there ready to go into production as the primary sources
of energy for a decade now.
It's just lacking infrastructure investment.