As a college student who has lived in New England my whole life, I applaud the Obama administration's recent decision not to include the East Coast in its new 5-year offshore drilling plan. The East Coast has been kept off-limits to drilling for generations, and I feel it would be detrimental if that changed now.
Maine's economy, much like my home state of Rhode Island and many of the states on the East Coast, relies on the health of the ocean.
Expanded drilling would have no effect on gas prices, nor would it decrease the nation's dependence on foreign oil. The only way to protect ourselves from high fuel prices and reduce our dependence on foreign oil is by increasing energy efficiency efforts in combination with the development of clean, renewable sources of energy, like offshore wind power.
As a current college senior, I am concerned with both the lack of jobs available as I graduate and the state of the environment in the future. I feel that clean energy, for example, offshore wind, is a sustainable answer to both of those issues.
I hope President Obama will continue to protect the oceans by limiting offshore oil drilling and by investing in clean renewable energy such as offshore wind power. Such actions would protect the health of the oceans, reduce the nation's dependence on fossil fuels and create millions of desperately needed jobs.
Patricia Noto, Lewiston