Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama is extending the moratorium on permits to drill new deepwater wells for six months, a White House official said Thursday.
Obama will be discussing a presidential commission's safety review of offshore drilling, an evaluation spurred by the deadly explosion on a Gulf of Mexico oil rig - an accident that has caused a devastating oil spill.
The official said the moratorium will continue as the commission works to "determine how to prevent this from ever happening again."
"In addition, the planned exploration off the coast of Alaska in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas will be delayed pending the commission's review and the August lease sale in the Western Gulf will be cancelled. The lease sale off the coast of Virginia will also be cancelled due to environmental concerns and concerns raised by the Defense Department," the official said.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who was directed to oversee the report, briefed Obama and senior advisers on the report Wednesday night.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday,57 percent of Americans favor increased off shore drilling, with 41 percent opposed. Support for increased off shore drilling dropped 17 percent from CNN polling conducted two years ago.
Now there is a man of action.
This oil leak crisis exposes something interesting about the Tea Party and its foloowers: On one hand they scream to keep federal gov't out of things and want it downsized and almost non-existent then, when something like this oli leak happens, they scream about wanting the federal gov't to fix it. Kind of a contradiction here. One one hand keep the gov't's hands off business and then, when business screws up, the federal gov't gets the blame.
Proof this admin will use this as a way to promote their own agenda of the green energy. We do not need to stop drilling, clean up the mess and move on. Sure is funny it's more important to them to be out in CA campaigning than to be taking care of the important things.
Hope boxer loses anyway. A moritorium will be a complete waste of taxpayers money by people who don't have a clue what there talking about . If they want to do something constructive, spend the money hiring someone who knows the drilling business to oversee off shore drilling and give them the backing they need to enforce the rules. Just more inept leadership.
Does Obama think he will be stopping China and the other oil-drilling operations in the Gulf and in Alaskan area? Or just American operations?
Thank you President Obama...a really wise decision. Hopefully we will never hear "drill baby drill" again.
it should be stop all together but the same people who are complaining
about the spill will look the other way in a year you see money talks
and when you give enough of it out and make sure that the courts get
there share and you put the blame game to muddy the waters then
you are back in business drilling away just look at global warming
there are so many people from all over the world that agree with it but
all you have to do is throw a few people to say there is not and the
water is muddy and that is what the oil companies want if the government gets involve with this oil spill by take over that will be a gift to the oil companies because that will shift the financial burden away from them and then on to the tax payer they can fight the price tag in court saying they would have done it different
Please tell us these commissions and scientific panels aren't being headed up by Big Oil's best and brightest. We've already seen what "incentivized regulation" can do.
What a poser. more commissions, more fact-finding = he doesn't have to make any decisions until after the mid-term elections.
If he's so smart, why didn't he assess these risks prior to stating his support for more oil exploration several months ago? Oh yeah, politics...
I voted for leadership and change and all I see is another political hack. Politics as usual, only "Chicago style". I can't wait to see this disappointing, inexperienced lightweight voted out!
This is similar to the Bellingham, WA pipeline explosion about 10 or more years ago. Those top officials admitted their guilt for ignoring safety rules and people died and these clowns went to prison. The families of the victims received a settlement. Now BP is going to stand trial.
It's about time! The oil barrons have NO CLUE AND NO PLAN in place to stop enviromental disasters like the one happening right now. It took the Gulf of Mexico becoming a dead zone for the nest 100 years to shed light on this problem so now is the time to fix it before there are more "accidents".
Funny that no one is talking about how back in the 70s there was a major oil leak when a well blew up. Rachel Maddow showed the footage on her show last night. So if the same thing happened back in the 70s in the Gulf of Mexico and it wasn't resolved for 10 months. WHY ALL THE LUNANCY NOW??!?!!!! The oil companies tried everything then but the only thing that worked was they built a "relief" well and it took 10 months to do!!! DUH!!!! History repeats itself. Amazing that the wild life survived and the seafood markets survived. Did anyone do a study to determine if the number of cancer is a result of that leak in the 70s?!?!
Obama should extend the moritorium until BP has cleaned up all the gulf shores and wetlands that have been polluted by this disaster.
If it takes years, then so be it.
Big oil companies need to realize that they have responsibiliies to the enviornment and that they have to face consequences.
Boy is he in over his head, that's what happens when you elect a community organizer.
When will a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate the two dems who claim they were offered jobs in the administration if they dropped out of elections?
When I hear the work impeach used in the same sentence as obama chills run up my leg!
For the record, I'm not completely against off shore drilling, but I agree with this moratorium until the oil companies can prove they can stop these disasters!
Our need for oil shouldn't outweigh our need for shrimp – yummy!