: News

Meetings Delayed, But Offshore Drilling Isn't Canceled

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

The U.S. Interior Department is suspending, indefinitely, public hearings on the proposed sale of oil and gas leases off the coast of Virginia while it focuses on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Some environmental groups are hailing the decision, saying it may signal a move back toward a moratorium on drilling. But a delay of public hearings might not mean an end to drilling.

The Minerals Management Service - or MMS - had planned to begin leasing ocean floor 50 miles off Virginia's coast as early as 2012. Maureen Matsen is senior advisor on energy to Virginia's governor Bob McDonnel, who has been a steadfast proponent of offshore drilling. She says that 2012 lease sale could still happen on time.

"Well we have no reason to believe that it will delay the lease sale. MMS' order makes no reference to the lease sale, the 2012 plan is still in place," says Matsen.

Matsen says lessons learned from the Gulf of Mexico of Spill will minimize the likelihood of such a catastrophe off of Virginia.

"I think it's highly unlikely that the answer will be we shouldn't go forward," she says.

That remains to be seen. Environmental groups are lobbying intensely against drilling.

You can hear an extended interview with Maureen Matsen, Governor McDonnell's energy adviser, on our Web site, wamu.org, click on news.

WAMU 88.5

Auction Of Artifacts In Paris Stirs Protest At American Indian Museum In D.C.

"It's almost like seeing one of our own tribal members being auctioned off," says a member of California's Hoopa tribe who denounced the auction during an event at the National Museum of the American Indian.

NPR

We Don't Know How Many Workers Are Injured At Slaughterhouses. Here's Why

Injuries in the meat industry are likely to be under-reported, a new GAO report finds. Workers may be sent back to the line without seeing a doctor, or may not report out of fear of losing their jobs.
WAMU 88.5

Power Plant Fight In Prince George's County

A predominantly African American community in rural Prince George's County recently filed a federal civil rights complaint in response to plans to build a third power plant in one town, and fifth in the region.

NPR

Reports Peg Tech Billionaire As Funder Of Hulk Hogan's Case Against Gawker

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel is said to be bankrolling the ex-wrestler's lawsuit. Gawker is appealing a jury verdict that awarded Hogan $140 million over the 2012 publication of a sex tape.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.