The Obama administration will not open up the southeastern Atlantic coast to drilling due to record-low oil prices and strong local opposition, it said on Tuesday.
The U.S. Interior Department plans to announce on Tuesday afternoon that it will not schedule any lease sales offshore in the mid- and south Atlantic after “an extensive public input process.”
Besides market and environmental concerns, the department also based its decision on conflicts with competing commercial and military ocean uses.
The decision will reverse the department’s January 2015 proposal for new leases in the Atlantic as part of its five-year plan to set new boundaries for oil development in federal waters through 2022.
The proposal would have opened up drilling sites more than 50 miles off Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia to oil drilling by 2021.
Coastal communities in these states protested the administration’s 2015 plan, fearing the possibility of a local oil spill, like the BP Horizon accident in 2010 on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and its effects on tourism and their economies.
“With this decision coastal communities have won a ‘David vs. Goliath’ fight against the richest companies on the planet, and that is a cause for tremendous optimism for the well-being of future generations,” said Jacqueline Savitz, environmental group Oceana’s vice president for U.S. oceans.
Virginia officials had welcomed the plan to allow offshore drilling, saying it would bring economic benefits.
On Monday, the American Petroleum Institute industry group said expanding offshore drilling would improve everything from infrastructure to education.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, stuck, off limits to future generations as it waits for forward-looking energy policy,” said Erik Milito, API’s director of upstream and industry operations.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Von Ahn)
Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent
The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.
The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.
Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.
Cincinnati sheriff deputies replace American flag at the Justice Center with ‘thin-blue-line’ flag
Cincinnati police were filmed replacing the American flag that hangs over the Justice Center in Ohio's third-largest city. They then replaced it with the thin-blue-line flag, that was created to advocate for law-enforcement during Black Lives Matter Protests.
During the Charlottesville, Virginia riots, right-wing and white supremacist activists carried the thin-blue-line flag along with the Confederate flag to speak out against Black Lives Matter.
While the flag may have been created in support of law enforcement, it has been adopted by white supremacists and taken on a darker meaning.
WATCH: DC protesters turn over ‘agitator’ to police — then the agitators try to start a fight with cops
Protesters in Washington, D.C. were captured on video handing over an agitator to police, while other agitators in paintball tactical gear appeared to try and start fights with police.
Former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, revealed that his former colleagues and law enforcement he knows recognize that far-right agitators are attempting to start significant conflicts between police and protesters.
"There is a minimal presence of Antifa, but a far more disturbing presence of right-wing race-based hate groups, such as the Boogaloo Boys who think there will be a race-based civil war coming," he said on MSNBC.