The President advocated for new offshore drilling just a few weeks before the BP oil spill, then said it would be canceled, then said it was fine -- and has now said that it will be canceled once more. No permits will be issued in the Gulf until 2017, though some permits in Alaska will still be granted.
The flip-flop is a huge setback for oil companies and means oil companies have gone almost two years without access to new offshore drilling leases. The ruling came as a surprise, and gives the middle finger conservatives who were pushing for a a broader oil exploration policy. WSJ
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday his decision was "based on the lessons that we have been learning and knowing that there is a robust safety regime that we are [putting in place] to prevent another Deepwater Horizon incident."
Mr. Obama's proposal in March to expand offshore exploration came as he sought Republican support for legislation to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.
Just another reason to push hard for 2012.