The Obama administration is reworking its plan to open the southern Atlantic coast to offshore oil exploration because of strong opposition from the Pentagon, which says the activity could hurt military maneuvers and interfere with missile tests the Navy relies on to protect the coast.
Early this week, Interior Department officials from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management expect to release an update of its draft proposal to lease federal waters to oil and gas companies off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. That update will reflect the military’s concerns, officials say.
The Pentagon confirmed Sunday that it provided an assessment of Interior’s map for oil exploration on the coastal outer shelf “that identifies locations . . . areas where the [Defense’s] offshore readiness activities are not compatible, partially compatible or minimally impacted by oil and gas activities,” according to spokesman Matthew Allen.