White House Halts 'New Drilling' Until Cause Identified
According to the Associated Press, a top adviser in the Obama Administration has claimed that no new oil drilling will be authorized until federal authorities learn what caused the explosion of Transocean's Deepwater Horizon semisub.
Yesterday, the administration escalated its response to the oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico following the rig's collapse in approximately 5,000 ft. of water on April 22. The oil spill has been declared both a "state of emergency" and "a spill of national significance" by government officials.
Officials estimated on Thursday that the oil spill posed an ecological threat to sensitive coastal areas. Specifically, ten wildlife refuges in Mississippi and Louisiana lie in the oil's direct path.
On Friday, top advisor David Axelrod said, "No additional drilling has been authorized and none will until we find out what has happened here." He also defended the White House's response to the April 20 blowout incident, saying "we had the Coast Guard in almost immediately," AP reported.
President Obama recently lifted a drilling moratorium for offshore areas in both the Atlantic and Gulf regions.