With the catastrophic oil spill still wreaking havoc in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama announced today that he would suspend drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska until at least 2011.
The move will stop for now a controversial expansion of oil drilling in a part of the world that could hold vast stores of oil and natural gas, but which environmentalists warn would come at great risk.
Despite a late appeal from Shell that it would employ new safety measures in the wake of the Gulf spill, Salazar was unconvinced that the exploratory drilling even in the much shallower waters of the Arctic would be safe.
"He is suspending proposed exploratory drilling in the Arctic," an administration official said on condition of anonymity to talk before Salazar's report is officially released today. "He will not consider applications for permits to drill in the Arctic until 2011 because of the need for further information-gathering, evaluation of proposed drilling technology, and evaluation of oil-spill response capabilities for Arctic waters."
PHOTO via Treehugger