U.S rescinds/expands

ban on offshore drilling.

New York Times

The Obama administration is rescinding its decision to expand offshore oil exploration into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast because of weaknesses in federal regulation revealed by the BP oil spill, Interior Secretary Ken Salazarannounced on Wednesday.

Drilling will continue in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, although under a set of new safeguards put in place after the deadly BP explosion and oil spill in April. Future gulf leases will be subject to further environmental and safety studies, he said.

Shell’s pending lease in the Arctic Ocean off the Alaska coast will be honored, but drilling will be allowed only after a new environmental review is completed and additional spill response requirements are met. That probably will push the oil company’s plans back by a year or more, officials said. Other potential drilling sites in the Arctic will be studied before any leasing decisions are made, Mr. Salazar said.

New York Times

Is this good news? bad news? not sure yet. offshore drilling is dangerous and economic reports show that petroleum exports aren’t what they used to be since gas reserves are dipping down. Why does Congress focus on issues that only relieve the issue for a short time. More investments need to made on solar energy so we can begin to compete with China’s roaring solar trade exports…

but in other news, the National Geographic reports that the U.S are imposing new procedures for natural gas drilling, otherwise known as Fracking, on public land. What is fracking?

“—the use of a high-pressure water and chemical mix to force natural gas from underground shale and tight sand formations.”

Can it kill humans? Yes. Is it dangerous? Yes. Will it pass in Congress? Yes