Bush admin proposes drilling off Florida, Virginia, Alaska coasts

When President Bush said “America is addicted to oil,” we thought … wait, did we say this already? Yesterday, the administration proposed new oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Florida, Virginia, and Alaska — including areas covered by a long-standing moratorium on offshore energy development. The Interior Department plan estimates these areas could produce 85.9 billion barrels of oil and 419.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The proposal needs approval from both the White House (no worries there) and Congress, where a furious battle seems certain. Virginia’s delegation is enthusiastic about possible state revenue, and many inland states (read: some farm and industrial groups) support legislation to let states opt out of the moratorium. But California, Florida, and most other coastal states want to protect their tourism-friendly beaches. We believe the relevant term here is “enabler.” Wait, did we already say that?