Youth Resist Offshore Drilling

President Obama"s decision to expand offshore drilling has disappointed young environmentalists who helped get him elected.© Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Young climate activists who worked to mobilize voters in order to elect President Obama are expressing great disappointment in the President’s recent support of offshore oil drilling. Obama’s announcement on March 31 of a new national plan that would expand oil leasing into large areas off the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico, in addition to leaving open to drilling areas in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska, left the environmental community outraged, particularly the young people who had such hope for the President’s environmental leadership. The move allows for much more drilling than was possible under President Bush, and ends a long-standing moratorium on offshore East Coast oil exploration.

An article on the blog It’s Getting Hot In Here cites college students like Jonathan Ruiz of Florida International University, who campaigned for 14 months for Obama and calls the off-shore drilling announcement "a kick in the face."

The article, by climate activist Morgan Goodwin, notes that "under this proposal the first lease sales for drilling would be held in 2012, a year that Obama will be hoping to connect with us and convince us he stands for our interests. If young people don’t believe him, they aren’t going to be inspired to vote."