President Barack Obama's plans for offshore drilling will require a "balancing act" going forward, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday.
In an interview to air Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Clinton said that the administration's first priority is to address and contain the oil spill currently spreading through the Gulf of Mexico following an explosion on a drilling platform earlier in April.
"First order of business...is to try to get this spill under control, which has been, as you know, very difficult, and to prevent further damage to the coastline along Louisiana to the fishing waters, to the wildlife," Clinton said.
The disaster has raised questions about Obama's plan to allow expanded oil and gas exploration in the Gulf and on the Atlantic coast. White House senior advisor David Axelrod said Friday that the administration would pause approving new drilling ventures until it could clean up and investigate the current accident.
"I think it does raise questions, which the President has said have to be answered. He put forth a very comprehensive approach that included the potential of drilling off of our own shore," Clinton said.
"But it has to be done safely. It can't be done at the risk of having to spend billions of dollars cleaning up these spills," she added. "So, it as with so much in these difficult areas, it's gonna require a balancing act."