The top House Republican said the White House’s decision to begin offshore drilling across huge expanses of ocean is a “positive step,” but he still blasted the Obama administration for keeping areas on the West Coast closed to such exploration.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said that the administration “continues to defy the will of the American people” who, in 2008, supported a congressional decision to allow oil exploration off the Pacific Coast and Alaska.
“Opening up areas off the Virginia coast to offshore production is a positive step, but keeping the Pacific Coast and Alaska, as well as the most promising resources of the Gulf of Mexico, under lock and key makes no sense at a time when gasoline prices are rising and Americans are asking ‘Where are the jobs?’” Boehner said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday morning.
The decision to drill off the coasts of the United States has long been championed by Republicans, while many environmental activists have opposed such exploration.
Obama’s decision to open up certain Atlantic and Gulf Coast drilling will be announced Wednesday morning at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Boehner’s mixed reaction is a preview of the likely Republican response.
“It’s long past time for this administration to stop delaying American energy production off all our shores and start listening to the American people who want an ‘all of the above’ strategy to produce more American energy and create more jobs,” Boehner said in his statement.