Drilling for Oil Off the Coast of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted November 8, 2011

The White House announced on Tuesday plans to open up new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska.

The expansion of U.S. drilling will allow for the development of “‘more than 75 percent of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources on Outer Continental Shelf’ according to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar,” reports ABC News.

The U.S. Department of the Interior also announced on Tuesday that it will auction off blocks for oil and gas exploration over the next five years. Salazar said the government plans to hold up to 15 lease sales between 2012 and 2017 for tracts in the Gulf and three off the coast of Alaska, according to Market Watch.

The program also includes lease sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in the Arctic where efforts will be made to “avoid sensitive environmental resources, including areas accessed by Native Alaskans for subsistence uses,” said the White House.

The new drilling program will make many oil companies happy and potentially decrease the United States’ dependency on foreign nations for oil. However, environmentalists oppose the increased drilling and fear the possible impacts it will have.

Obama first brought this plan to attention last May, and has set a target for the U.S. to reduce oil imports a third by 2025. This goal cannot be reached without the use of domestic drilling.

That’s all for now,


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