Obama's Risky Drilling Plan

There’s little praise for Obama's proposed plan to expand offshore drilling and gas development. The plan, which Obama designed to attract bipartisan support, has garnered wan enthusiasm from the oil industry, business groups, and some Republicans, and denunciation from environmental groups and some Democrats, The New York Times reports. While the bill contains geographical provisions designed to appeal to certain senators, such as a coastal buffer zone off the coast of Florida to placate Sen. Bill Nelson, it's gained ire from New Jersey Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez for opening the mid-Atlantic region to drilling, and thus, environmental degradation. What's more troubling is that it's unclear what oil is actually lurking off the American coast; some of the existing data are based on 30-year-old studies, and even if the high end of government estimates is correct, the new oil will only account for a small component of U.S. energy use.