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Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Updated: June 14, 6:46 PM ET
"Drill Baby Drill," Obama?

So you may have a glimmer of hope that affordable health care is right around the corner. It may ease your mind to know that the rest of the world no longer curses the US whenever the president travels overseas. But how do you feel about that oil platform off your break?

President Obama spoke earlier today at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Washington in Morningside, Maryland.

Today, President Obama announced he was expanding offshore drilling possibilities off Virginia, Alaska, and the Gulf Coast of Florida. Environmental groups, who generally support Obama for his green initiatives are not happy about the announcement. Here are statements made today:

Clean Ocean Action, New York/New Jersey
"We are utterly shocked and outraged with President Obama's opening of huge portions of our sensitive oceans to dirty offshore drilling. The policy is a deal with the devil and pure snake oil that puts New Jersey and New York beaches at risk. It's a deal with the devil as the clear objective for opening up drilling in the Atlantic Ocean and other sensitive areas is to buy votes for legislation to reduce emissions causing climate change. It is twisted logic at best to increase a dirty, polluting industry that will increase greenhouse gas emissions in the name of reducing climate change and at the same time threaten our national shore tourism and fishing. The US Government has estimated that there is about a half year of oil from Maine to Florida. Even if new studies double that amount -- it will do nothing to increase energy independence or provide a meaningful domestic oil supply. To suggest otherwise is pure snake oil. Moreover, locating oil in these vast areas is like finding a needle in a hay stack and in order to do so, you must blast the area with seismic charges that will endanger marine mammals and fish. Finally any spill in the south and mid-Atlantic can get carried north to the Jersey Shores by the Gulf Stream, making drilling off Virginia a threat to enjoying the beaches in New Jersey. Clean Ocean Action stands with our strong bi-partisan NJ Congressional delegation and Governor Chris Christie who oppose offshore oil drilling and vow to work with them to fight against this attack on our way of life."

The future of Virginia Beach dawn patrol?

The Surfrider Foundation, San Clemente, CA
"The Surfrider Foundation considers anything short of a complete reinstatement of the federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling a loss. While we are pleased that the coastal waters off the West Coast will not see any new offshore oil drilling (for the time being), we view this as simply maintaining the status quo that has been afforded us for the last 30 years. By opening up the mid-Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and north coast of Alaska to new offshore oil drilling and exploration, the Minerals Management Service not only places our environment at risk, it threatens the livelihoods of millions of Americans who rely on clean, healthy, oil-free oceans and beaches to support fishing, tourism and other industries."

The Sierra Club, Washington DC
"We're very disappointed to see important areas like the Arctic coast and the mid and South Atlantic stay open to oil drilling. What we need is bold, decisive steps towards clean energy, like the new clean cars regulations announced this week -- not more dirty, expensive offshore drilling. The oil industry already has access to drilling on millions of acres of America's public lands and water. We don't need to hand over our last protected pristine coastal areas just so oil companies can break more profit records.

Drilling areas like the Arctic threatens marine life like whales and polar bears. Where there is offshore drilling, there is a constant danger of oil spills. One oil spill is all it takes to destroy a coastal tourism economy and the jobs that depend on it.

Drilling our coasts will doing nothing to lower gas prices or create energy independence. It will only jeopardize beaches, marine life, and coastal tourist economies, all so the oil industry can make a short-term profit.

President Obama has taken important steps to combat global warming pollution and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Our nation's increasing investment in clean energy and efficiency measures make drilling in sensitive coastal areas even more unnecessary. There's no reason to drill our coasts. We can achieve real energy independence and economic vitality by investing in clean energy like wind and solar and efficiency. This kind of power creates good, lasting American jobs and positions our nation to become a global leader in the new clean energy economy."

ESPN Surfing ran this story in late 2009 about the administration's support of Liquified Natural Gas facilities off our shores as well.