(H/T – Ed Morrissey)
The Washington Post reports that President Obama announced that he will eventually approve drilling leases well off (a minimum of 50 miles out) the southern East Coast and the Florida Gulf Coast. While it is a good start, the devil, as always, is in the details. First, let’s take a quote from Obama:
“We’ll protect areas vital to tourism, the environment and our national security,” he said. “And we’ll be guided not by political ideology, but by scientific evidence. That’s why my administration will consider potential new areas for development in the mid- and south-Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic. That’s why we’ll continue to support development of leased areas off the North Slope of Alaska, while protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay.”
Note the word used to describe the new areas – consider. Given Obama’s track record of both shutting down various sources of energy, both oil and coal, and of issuing statements that have expiration dates, I don’t exactly see this as a full return to late-Bush-era Drill Baby Drill proposals.
Then there’s the timing involved. HotAir reader cs89 found this little tidbit in the WaPo story:
If there is enough interest from industry and if the government determines that offshore drilling does not harm the environment or interfere with military activities, the Interior Department intends to hold a 2012 lease sale for exploration 50 miles off the coast of Virginia, as well as a similar one for Alaska’s Cook Inlet.
There’s plenty of time for the “pledge” to reach its expiration date.