By Ben Geman - 03/28/10 01:56 PM EDT
“There is an inherent link between energy and prosperity, between energy and security, and between energy and freedom. We do need to drill here and drill now,” Palin said, reprising the GOP's “drill here, drill now” slogan from the 2008 presidential campaign, when she was Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) running mate.
Palin’s comments echo criticisms by many Capitol Hill Republicans who allege that the Obama administration is stymieing development of offshore oil and natural gas.
Offshore drilling bans that had covered the Atlantic and Pacific coasts lapsed in 2008. But the Interior Department has yet to lay out the administration’s offshore drilling policy, and oil industry groups say the White House is dragging its feet on the issue.
President Obama has signaled support for expanded offshore drilling as part of his call for a broader energy and climate change policy that includes limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
The administration strongly backs nuclear power. In February President Obama personally announced the first Energy Department loan guarantees for building new nuclear reactors under a financing program authorized in 2005. And the fiscal year 2011 White House budget request seeks to triple of the level of nuclear plant loan guarantees available to over $54 billion.
The energy and climate change bill that Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) are crafting is expected to include expanded federal support for nuclear power and promote wider domestic drilling.