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Obama proposes offshore oil drilling from Virginia to Georgia

Staff writer |
The Obama administration proposed opening to offshore drilling an area from Virginia to Georgia. The offshore plan for 2017-2022 marks the second time President Barack Obama has recommended unlocking areas in the U.S. Atlantic for oil drilling.

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This drew a swift retort from allies who say the payoff doesn't justify the risk of a spill along the populated coast. The agency said Atlantic leases won't be auctioned for at least six years and drilling wouldn't start for several more years.

"This plan takes a balanced approach to oil and gas development," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told reporters Tuesday on a conference call. "It protects areas that are just too special to develop."

The Environmental Protection Agency said it would curb methane emissions from drilling and transport operations, and Obama announced that his administration would manage the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness, dashing hopes for new production there. New rules on fracking on public lands and on blowout preventors are also in the works.

Obama announced December 16 he was blocking the leasing parts of Bristol Bay, Alaska, for oil production.

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