"Less than four months after President Barack Obama took office, his new administration received a forceful warning about the dangers of offshore oil drilling.
The alarm was rung by a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., which found that the government was unprepared for a major spill at sea, relying on an "irrational" environmental analysis of the risks of offshore drilling.
The April 2009 ruling stunned both the administration and the oil industry, and threatened to delay or cancel dozens of offshore projects in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
Despite its pro-environment pledges, the Obama administration urged the court to revisit the decision. Politically, it needed to push ahead with conventional oil production while it expanded support for renewable energy."
Neil King Jr. and Keith Johnson report for the Wall Street Journal July 5, 2010.