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Environmentalists cheer Obama's offshore drilling decision

Anita Kumar

Minutes after President Obama's news conference began, environmentalists began filling our inboxes praising his decision to cancel plans to drill for oil and gas off Virginia's coast.

Here's a statement from Glen Besa, director of the Sierra Club's Virginia chapter:

"The economic and environmental disaster that is currently unfolding on the Gulf Coast underscores the inherent and unavoidable risks that would come with drilling off Virginia's coast -- risks that have been well known for many years. It's unfortunate that it took a disaster such as this to finally bring to light just how mistaken it would be to drill off Virginia's coast."

And another from Chesapeake Climate Action Network Campaign Director Kirsten Collings:

"Oil drilling can never be made entirely safe, and the consequences -- as we now vividly see -- can be catastrophic. The Hampton Roads area is home to the world's largest Naval Station and relies heavily on tourism. An oil spill off of Virginia's coast would be devastating not only to the environment but also to the economy. Industry and government estimates say there is untapped oil off the Virginia coast equal to just 6 to 24 days' worth of national demand. The risks of drilling are far too great for a potential reward that is far too small."

Environment Virginia Advocate J.R. Tolbert said: "Our beaches will not be safe until the President permanently bans drilling off the coast of Virginia and in all coastal areas that are currently being drilled."

By Anita Kumar  |  May 27, 2010; 1:52 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama  
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