Meetings Delayed, But Offshore Drilling Isn't Canceled | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: 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.

NPR

Lost — Then Found — Along The Border, Objects Become Art

A photographer's journey along the U.S.-Mexico border turned up dramatic images of lost possessions. Those found items were later made into instruments that sound just like that desolate landscape.
NPR

Need A New Sweet Potato Recipe For Your Thanksgiving Table? Try Gnocchi

Because some cooks like to mix it up for Thanksgiving, we offer a Found Recipe from our archives: Julia Della Croce's purple sweet potato gnocchi.
NPR

Some In Las Vegas Not Sold On Obama's Immigration Pitch

President Obama made his sales pitch for why five million people should be protected from deportation, Friday. But many in Las Vegas, where Obama defended the executive action, aren't happy about the changes.
NPR

Car Ride Service Puts Gender In The Driver's Seat

Car share programs are extremely popular, but so are concerns for safety. NPR's Tess Vigeland talks to Stella Mateo, founder of SheRides, which allows passengers to choose the gender of their driver.

Leave a Comment

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