Obama Administration Releases New 5-Year Offshore Drilling Plan

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Obama Administration Releases New 5-Year Offshore Drilling Plan

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration today released its proposed 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The proposal keeps dirty fuel development off-limits along the Pacific and Northern Atlantic coasts, as well as in some areas of the Arctic Ocean, while opening up new areas off the Atlantic and Alaskan coasts to drilling.

In response Athan Manuel, Director of Lands Protection for the Our Wild America Campaign issued the following statement.

"By deciding not to lease certain parts of the Arctic Ocean the Obama administration has rightly recognized that some places are too special to drill. The decision not to lease these areas builds on the recent decision to recommend wilderness protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"We're disappointed however that the administration continues to consider opening up new areas offshore to drilling, including off the Atlantic coast and in other parts of the Arctic Ocean.  Opening these areas to dirty fuel development is incompatible with a healthy future for America's coastlines, coastal communities, or our climate, and the Sierra Club will oppose these plans vigorously.

"Keeping dirty fuels in the ground, especially in the areas that have not yet been opened to exploration, must be an essential piece of the Obama administration's climate commitment. As the administration finalizes this plan we hope they will shift the focus away from the dirty fuels of the past and toward putting the pieces in place to continue our clean energy transition."

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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