As the White House scrambles to respond to the spreading Gulf of Mexico oil spill, should President Obama and Congress drop proposals to allow oil and gas development in coastal regions that were previously off limits to energy development?
Experts say that the BP rig where the spill originated has been leaking into the gulf since it exploded on April 20 and could cause serious damage to coastal regions of Louisiana. As a result, some environmentalists and lawmakers are calling on Obama to reconsider his proposal to expand drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and much of the Atlantic coast. Oil development proposals are also reportedly in the draft climate and energy bill developed by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, I/D-Conn.
Should Washington reimpose a drilling moratorium in certain environmentally sensitive areas? Could the oil spill impact negotiations for comprehensive climate and energy legislation?