News that the American President has issued an executive order prohibiting further deep-water oil exploration or development off its Pacific, Atlantic or eastern Gulf of Mexico coasts is a significant and welcome move.
Lessons learned from the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster earlier this year appear to have been learned.
The Obama administration are allowing themselves some wriggle room, however, with plans for oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean. Furthermore, the order is not retrospective. Existing oil platforms will continue to operate in this high-risk open seas.
White House Policy Advisor Richard Charter, announcing the decision, has said that the ban would not apply to the Arctic, yet:
“We are confident that further scientific studies of the impacts of drilling in the Arctic will show that the drilling ban should be extended to this region as well.”
If so, this represents a very positive development from the federal government.
Now, we just need to see that green energy infrastructure and the promised high-speed train networks linking major urban areas in America, announced in the first hundred days of President Obama's term of office.
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