Just days after announcing a proposal to expand offshore oil and gas development in a veiled effort to garner bipartisan support, President Obama was taking heavy criticism from both sides of the aisle.
The plan, which Obama said will help the nation minimize its dependence on foreign energy sources, will lift the 20-year moratorium on exploration and drilling off the Atlantic coastline, a new section in the Gulf of Mexico and the Cook Inlet in Alaska.
While receiving mild support from a handful of Washington conservatives, the proposal is being viewed as a half-hearted effort by the majority of Republicans, as no drilling will be permitted anywhere along the west coast of the continental U.S. and most parts of Alaska—two areas that were approved for exploration by Congress in 2008.
Representative Mike Pence (R-Iowa) referred to the proposal as a "smokescreen," due to the fact that it will delay new exploration until at least 2012 and is far less aggressive than the plan that was approved under the previous administration, according to Fox News.
"Unfortunately, this is yet another feeble attempt to gain votes for the president’s national energy tax bill that is languishing in the Senate," said Pence.
Meanwhile, Obama’s decision has been blasted by liberals and environmentalists alike, including Greenpeace, which called his announcement a "betrayal" of those who voted for him.