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Outrage Over WH Lifting of Drilling Moratorium

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The early lifting of the moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf Coast-- announced yesterday by the Obama administration--is causing consternation among environmental groups. But it's also failing to satisfy critics on the right, which appears to be the reason the ban was lifted weeks before deadline to begin with.

"This is pure politics of the most cynical kind. It is all about the election season, not safety and environmental concerns," Phil Radford, executive director of Greenpeace USA, told Mother Jones' Kate Sheppard. "The White House wants us to believe that they have solved all the dangers of offshore drilling and we can return to business as usual. It is a false promise, if not a big lie."

Other groups were similarly incensed:  Public Citizen said that without proven technology to address another spill, we're  "simply gambling with our environment." A representative from the National Resources Defense Council told Bloomberg that a full investigation of the accident should take place before drilling is allowed again.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that oil-related businesses also see the move as cynical and political, and oil-friendly Mary Landrieu continues to block the nomination of Jack Lew to the OMB, saying in a statement: “Today’s decision is a good start, but it must be accompanied by an action plan to get the entire industry in the Gulf of Mexico back to work. I am not going to release my hold on Jack Lew.”

It looks like the Obama administration is reaping few political rewards from this decision which continues endangering the environmental welfare of the Gulf.

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