President Obama has given offshore drilling the thumbs up.
In a reversal of a long-standing ban on most offshore drilling, President Barack Obama is allowing oil drilling off Virginia's shorelines and considering it for a large chunk of the Atlantic seaboard. At the same time, he's rejecting some new drilling sites that had been planned in Alaska.
Obama's plan offers few concessions to environmentalists, who have been strident in their opposition to more oil platforms off the nation's shores. Hinted at for months, the plan modifies a ban that for more than 20 years has limited drilling along coastal areas other than the Gulf of Mexico.
Obama was set to announce the new drilling policy Wednesday at Andrews air base in Maryland. White House officials pitched the changes as ways to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil and create jobs — both politically popular ideas — but the president's decisions also could help secure support for a climate change bill languishing in Congress.
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