NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Obama administration's decision this week not to open up some of the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard to new drilling is worrying residents who wonder if the industry will ever thrive again in U.S. waters.
Less than a year ago, struggling states and coastal towns saw crude exploration as an economic savior. Yet some fear the backlash from the BP oil spill will lead to an exodus of oil rigs in search of friendlier waters overseas. With each passing day, folks that rely on deepwater drilling say the damage is multiplying.
President Barack Obama's latest move to maintain a drilling ban in both the eastern Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard is a reversal of his promise to do just the opposite three weeks before the disaster.