Offshore drilling off the table, again

Administration reverses position on drilling in the Atlantic:

The Obama administration reversed course Wednesday and said it wouldn't allow drilling off the Atlantic coast and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico near Florida, citing safety concerns after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Environmental groups, meanwhile, characterized the decision as long overdue. "We have been opposed for years to drilling in the Atlantic, which holds meager oil reserves yet provides billions in fishing and tourism revenue to coastal communities," said Deborah Murray, with the Southern Environmental Law Center, based in in Charlottesville, Va.

This is fantastic news, but the President shouldn't have gone down this road in the first place. Especially if this is the primary reason why:

Mr. Obama's proposal in March to expand exploration off the Atlantic and eastern Gulf of Mexico came as he sought Republican support for legislation to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

Lesson learned, hopefully. If the President was given assurances (covert or overt) the support would be there in exchange for the drilling, he now knows just how much he can trust Republicans. If he wasn't given assurances, and he made such an environmentally unsound policy move on the off-chance it might help, then I hope he is duly embarassed by having to reverse his reversal.