Obama Administration Will Not End Drilling Ban Eastern Gulf of Mexico

December 1, 2010 - 10:29 AM

Tallahassee, Fla. (AP) - President Barack Obama's administration won't allow any new oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico for at least the next seven years because of the BP oil spill.

A senior administration official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that drilling leases won't be considered in the waters off Florida as part of the change. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision hadn't been announced yet.

He said that because of the BP spill, the administration now understands the need to elevate safety and environmental standards. Before the spill, the administration had considered a plan to allow drilling in the eastern Gulf.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to discuss the decision later Wednesday afternoon.