xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Oil drilling along Atlantic coast?

Should the federal government allow oil drilling rigs off of Assateague Island? If you've ever wandered on the pristine beaches of this national seashore, you can imagine the impact of an oil spill.

That's why the Chesapeake Bay Foundation today urged Congress not to approve a proposal by the Bush administration to allow drilling more than 50 miles out in federal waters.

Advertisement

"Even at 100 miles out, an oil spill could cause signficant damage along the shoreline, from Assateague Island to Chincoteague," said Roy Hoagland, vice president of environmental protection and restoration at the advocacy organzation. "We have a lot of soft shorelines along the coast and in the bay. You get oil in marshy areas and it's almost impossible to remove."

On the other hand, gas prices are high and rising even higher. Perhaps more drilling far out into the ocean, and in Alaska, could help ease prices and make America less dependent on foreign oil.

Advertisement

The proposal by the Interior Department to allow drilling off of Virginia's coast would also allow drilling in areas that are also currently off limits in Alaska'a Bristol Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.   Since an oil spill off California in 1982, Congress every year has passed a moratorium on drilling off of the East Coast and West Coast, and lawmakers would have to reverse course to allow the Bush adminsitration's proposal.

With Democrats now in charge of Congress, it's not clear that Bush's proposal will go anywhere.

Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, a New York Democrat, vowed to use his position on the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to try to thwart the plan, The Los Angeles Times reported. "President Bush and Vice President Cheney are definitely addicted to oil, and it's up to Congress to enter them into rehab," Hinchley said.

Is the price of affordable fuel more offshore drilling?

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement