New Orleans, La. – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the resumption of oil exploration is vital to meeting the country's energy needs.
"This is an important step forward as we address one item on the menu of America's energy portfolio."
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu says lifting the ban is a good first step. Her brother, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, says the ban has hurt the region's economy, and he's pleased that it's ending. But Florida Governor Charlie Crist says the ban should not be lifted until there is a thorough investigation of what caused the explosion and spill. The environmental group Oceana is also blasting the decision, saying current technology can't deal with effectively preventing or containing a spill. The administration says drilling could resume by the end of the year.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.