"Budget Deal Would Open New Areas Of The Gulf Of Mexico For Drilling"

"WASHINGTON -– The bipartisan budget deal unveiled Tuesday night includes a provision that would open up new parts of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling."

"The proposal includes passage of the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement, which would allow development of oil and gas reserves that cross the international maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico. There has been a moratorium in place on drilling in the Western Gap portion of the Gulf since 2000, but it is set to expire at the end of 2013. The agreement included in the budget deal sets standards for both countries to undertake development in this area, and has already won approval from both the Obama administration and Mexico.

Environmental groups aren't fans of the agreement. 'This is a continuation of the age-old U.S. approach to energy policy, which is: Give the oil and gas industry what they want,' said Jackie Savitz, vice president for North American Oceans at Oceana. 'If we continue to expand our production of oil into places that are hard to reach (deepwater), and hard to negotiate (the US-Mexico Boundary), we guarantee future generations the right to experience the worst impacts of climate change.'"

Kate Sheppard reports for the Huffington Post December 11, 2013.

Source: Huffington Post, 12/12/2013