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Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said following a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing June 6 that the administration will not expand drilling to include the Atlantic Ocean.
 
"We've done a five-year plan-it doesn't include the Atlantic," Jewell told reporters. "I don't expect to go back on that." House Republicans appear determined to push legislation to open both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to offshore drilling.
 
President Obama’s five-year drilling plan, which runs through 2017, doesn't offer any lease sales in Atlantic or Pacific coastal waters. A 2010 draft of his plan included Atlantic waters, but Obama pulled back on it following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill later that year.
 
Earlier June 6, a subpanel of the House Natural Resources Committee discussed a bill that would open the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to drilling.
 
Jewell’s remark hints strongly that Obama would veto the bill should it ever get to his desk — but Republicans plan to forge ahead regardless.
 
The legislation (H.R. 2231) from committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) is similar to a bill he sponsored last
year that cleared the Republican-controlled House, but was not acted on in the Senate.
 
Hastings's bill would require the Obama administration to submit another five-year plan — this one ending in 2020 — that includes zones off the coasts of California, South Carolina and Virginia.
 
“In contrast to the president's no-new energy plan, this is a drill-smart plan that focuses energy production in specific areas containing the greatest known oil and natural gas resources,” Hastings said.

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