Obama to open Alaska petroleum reserve to new drilling

The broad energy plan, coming as gas prices continue to rise, would also fast-track environmental assessment of petroleum exploration elsewhere.

Neela Banerjee
Los Angeles Times
5/14/2011

President Obama will open Alaska’s national petroleum reserve to new drilling, as part of a broad plan aimed at blunting criticism that he is not doing enough to address rising energy prices.

The plan, unveiled in Obama’s weekly radio address Saturday, also would fast-track environmental assessment of petroleum exploration in some portions of the Atlantic and extend the leases of oil companies whose work in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean was interrupted by the drilling moratorium after last year’s BP oil spill.

The measures come as high gasoline prices and the resulting popular anger threaten the fragile economic recovery and, possibly, the president’s reelection chances in 2012. Congressional Republicans and some Democrats have been clamoring for increased domestic production in response to the rising prices, which economists say vary with global demand.

This article continues, with video, at LATimes.

Update: On Michelle Malkin’s Facebook page Doug Powers has posted an article, “Obama Announces New Oil Drilling for EPA to Block”:

…As long as the EPA is there to block or revoke permits, Obama can, with a wink and a nudge, keep the “green” in his corner

Update 2: House passes three bills lifting Obama’s drilling moratorium, at The Blaze.

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