Energy & Environment

Clinton ‘very skeptical’ of Atlantic offshore drilling

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton told South Carolinians that she is skeptical of whether offshore oil and natural gas drilling should be allowed off southeastern states’ coasts.

“I am very skeptical about the need or desire for us to pursue offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina, and frankly off the coast of other southeast states,” the Democratic front-runner and former secretary of State said on a radio program, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.

{mosads}President Obama proposed early this year allowing limited offshore oil and natural gas drilling in the mid- and south Atlantic area.

Under the plan proposed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, energy companies would get one lease auction in 2021 for drilling rights in certain areas in the region that stretches from Virginia to Georgia.

It’s sparked fierce debate across the Atlantic coast, where oil and gas drilling in currently prohibited, over whether the environmental risks of a spill or other effects are worth the potential economic boon. South Carolina will hold one of the earliest primaries in the 2016 election.

This isn’t the first time Clinton has gone to the left of Obama on a major environmental question.

She’s said she’s very skeptical of allowing offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean and she came out against the Keystone XL oil pipeline before Obama scuttled it.

Clinton also wants the Justice Department to investigate whether Exxon Mobil Corp.’s public statements on climate change were fraudulent, given its extensive research and knowledge of the issue.

The second-place candidate for the Democratic election, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), wants to stop all new offshore drilling leases.

Tags Hillary Clinton Natural gas Offshore drilling oil

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