Obama administration will not open Atlantic coast to drilling

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 15, 2016 10:35 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration said Tuesday it will not open up drilling on the southeastern Atlantic coast due to current oil market dynamics and strong local opposition.

The U.S. Interior Department is expected to announce Tuesday afternoon that it will not schedule any lease sales offshore in the mid- and south Atlantic after "an extensive public input process."

In addition to market and environmental concerns, the Interior Department has decided to withdraw its plan to open up the Atlantic coast to drilling due to conflicts with competing commercial and military ocean uses.

The decision will reverse the proposal made by the Interior Department in January 2015 for new leases in the Atlantic as part of its five-year plan to set new boundaries for oil development in federal waters through 2022.

(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)