Appeals Court Cancels Offshore Drilling Program

By Nedra Pickler | April 17, 2009 | 12:00 PM EDT
Washington (AP) - A program to expand oil and gas drilling off the Alaska coast has been canceled by a federal appeals court because of environmental concerns.
 
A three-judge panel in the District of Columbia says the Bush administration's Interior Department failed to consider the offshore environmental impact and marine life before approving an oil and gas leasing program in the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi seas.
 
The seas are home to wildlife including polar bears, whales, seals, walruses and seabirds.
 
The appeals court ordered the Interior Department, now run by appointees of President Barack Obama, to analyze the areas to determine environmental damage risks before moving ahead with the program.
A program to expand oil and gas drilling off the Alaska coast has been canceled by a federal appeals court because of environmental concerns.