- The Washington Times - Monday, August 11, 2014

Environmental groups and lawmakers have heaped praise on President Obama’s plans to limit carbon emissions from power plants, but the two sides are at odds over his early moves to open the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling for the first time in 30 years, The Hill reported.

Last month, the administration opened the Atlantic to seismic cannon testing, an indication that it may be included in the Interior Department’s five-year lease plan in 2017.

The move has drawn rebuttals from some Democratic lawmakers and a handful of coastal governors, including New Jersey Republican Chris Christie. But others such as Virginia Gov. Terry McAullife, a Democrat, are eager for new drilling.

Environmental groups are also ramping up efforts to halt development in the Atlantic, urging coastal citizens to file public comment with the Interior Department about the potential risks of new drilling.

The environmentalists have tried to paint the move as hypocrisy on the part of an administration supposedly dedicated to battling climate change. In a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, 21 groups suggested that drilling in Atlantic would be “at odds with fighting climate disruption.”