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In March 2010, the Federal government has planned to open offshore drilling leases for oil and natural gas along the Atlantic Coastline, the eastern GOM and the north coast of Alaska.
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In March 2010, the Federal government has planned to open offshore drilling leases for oil and natural gas along the Atlantic Coastline, the eastern GOM and the north coast of Alaska. The new plan offers access to the vast areas of the OCS for drilling. The plan inhibits oil and gas development activity on the coastline from New Jersey northwards and the Pacific Coast, from Mexico to the Canadian border and Bristol Bay in southwestern Alaska. The plan proposes leases for exploration and drilling in large tracts of the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska, after appropriate environmental approvals. The Federal government’s responsibility to protect major Alaskan commercial fisheries and endangered whales has made them hold back permission for oil and gas development in the Federal waters of Bristol Bay. The government is likely to support the exploration and drilling of approximately 130 million acres as per the new plan. The drilling in newly opened areas is expected to commence after the conclusion of geological studies, environmental impact statements, court challenges and public lease sales. The increasing oil consumption and decreasing domestic production have driven the Federal government to support energy production from renewables, energy efficiency projects and to an extent to promote domestic onshore and offshore oil and gas activity without compromising on the environmental implications.
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