Democracy Now: Top Obama Environmental Advisers Sidelined During Drilling Talks

Two of President Obama’s top environmental advisers have admitted they were excluded from the decision-making process behind the expansion of offshore drilling earlier this year. In a move criticized by environmentalists, the White House opened large swaths of the Atlantic, Gulf and Alaskan coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling. The move came just weeks before the BP oil spill in the Gulf set off the largest environmental disaster in US history. On Wednesday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administrator Jane Lubchenco and Council on Environmental Quality chair Nancy Sutley both said they had a limited role in the decision process. Their disclosures came in testimony before the presidential commission investigating the oil disaster. The panel’s co-chair, William Reilly, criticized the White House for ignoring its top environmental officials.

William Reilly: “I’m disappointed that a policy to expand so significantly the area of offshore oil and gas would not have involved direct consultation with the CEQ [Council on Environmental Quality] chair.”

~ by wheresthemic on August 26, 2010.

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