Va. Governor Pans Drilling Decision, Environmentalists 'Delighted' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Va. Governor Pans Drilling Decision, Environmentalists 'Delighted'

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The Obama administration says it will not pursue drilling off the East Coast of the U.S. and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Environmental groups are pleased with the news but Virginia's governor is not.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) is calling the decision shortsighted and irresponsible.

"It's the wrong decision at the wrong time. This is an industry that could promote a great deal of job creation, economic growth, a great new industry for the citizens of Virginia for the port. And at this time where we're experiencing a high unemployment rate...it's the wrong decision," he says.

McDonnell says the decision reflects a lack of faith that anyone could learn from the mistakes of the BP leak to improve safety.

Environmental groups, on the other hand, argue that the biggest lesson is that "the risks to the commercial fisheries, the risk to tourism and to the species just isn't worth it," according to Deborah Murray, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Murray and a range of environmental groups argue that offshore wind could provide thousands of jobs and economic growth.

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