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White House: Drilling plan isn’t ‘horse trading’ on climate

White House spokesman Bill Burton on Thursday said President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE’s decision to expand offshore oil-and-gas drilling is just what Obama thinks is the right policy for the country.

“The President’s policy wasn’t a matter of horse trading over what he thought he could get out of this or that,” Burton told reporters. “It was driven by what he thought was the right policy for a comprehensive energy policy that puts our country on the right path towards more renewable energy, less dependence on foreign oil, and creating jobs of the future in the 21st century.”

“So I think that anybody who looked at what’s in that proposal shouldn’t have been particularly shocked that the President was for all those things. And I don’t know how you go about horse trading something that everybody knows you’re for already,” he continued.

Burton spoke in a response to a question about concerns among environmentalists who think Obama's decision to unveil oil-and-gas leasing plans Wednesday was a mistake. They'd rather he use oil-and-gas drilling as a bargaining chip and leverage in negotiations over climate change legislation.

Sens. John KerryJohn Forbes Kerry2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states When it comes to Colombia, America is in a tough spot 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) are crafting climate and energy legislation that includes drilling and nuclear power provisions. They are wooing support from Republicans and centrist Democrats for imposing greenhouse gas limits.

Graham is a strong supporter of offshore drilling and Wednesday called for a more expansive plan than Obama proposed.

Obama on Wednesday announced plans that include oil-and-gas leasing off the coast of mid-Atlantic and southeastern states – areas that until 2008 were covered by drilling bans.

In addition, it envisions Arctic oil exploration off the northern coast of Alaska (although it cancels several upcoming lease sales there to allow further study), and also calls for new drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Much of the eastern Gulf remains off-limits under a 2006 law, so a major expansion of development there would require congressional action.

Click here to see a map that describes the Obama administration's Alaska offshore drilling strategy.

Click here to see a map that describes the Obama administration's Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico drilling strategies.