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President Barack Obama, who campaigned against offshore drilling for oil during his 2008 Presidential campaign, now wants to allow such drilling 50 miles off the Virginia coast and may open up other stretches of the Atlantic coast and areas off Alaska.
Obama will offer a program that reverses the long-standing ban on coastal drilling outside the Gulf of Mexico, a move that will anger environmentalists and the left-wing of the Democratic Party.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the plan would eventually open up two-thirds of the eastern Gulf’s existing resources for drilling, allow drilling off the Virginia coast, study the “viability” of drilling off the mid- and southern Atlantic coastal areas and consider the drilling in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
The New York Times reports that the first lease sale for drilling off the coast of Virginia could come as early as next year.