news" begins now.
good evening. some
have an opinion of
that was first formed decades ago with those pictures of oil on the beaches in
, california. others see it differently. they say time and technology have changed things. they say in order to lessen our dependence on
low, we've got to bring more of it out of the ground and from under the sea with other solutions still in the works. remember, "drill, baby, drill," became a chant at the gop convention. today the president surprised a lot of people by calling for
across a vance expansive ocean along well-known stretches of our coastline.
is across town at the
reporter: good evening, brian. in the world of domestic democratic politics, it's akin to a
nixon goes to china
moment, a democratic president bucking a powerful
, environmentalists on the issue of
this is not a decision that i've made lightly.
reporter: the president announced a surprising new energy initiative to expand
given our energy needs, in order to sustain
and produce jobs and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel, even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable
reporter: it is a shift from rhetoric when the president was candidate obama campaigning in
when i'm president i intend to keep in place the moratorium here in
and around the country that prevents
from drilling off
reporter: during the campaign with soaring
, republicans pounced.
drill, baby, drill.
reporter: by the fall, candidate obama signalled an openness to some drilling. this plan would allow
50 miles off the seaboard of the
from delaware to
. 125 miles in the
gulf of mexico
, open new areas of drilling in the
and alaska but protect
. the expansion could free up anywhere from 40 to 60 billion
barrels of oil
total, but that would cover the country's energy needs for just an additional five to ten years. environmentalists are not happy.
any expansion of drilling we think is too aggressive, mainly because drilling is a dirty and dangerous business we think is incompatible with our coastlines and beaches and with coastal economies.
reporter: today's announcement was as much about congressional politics as
senator lindsey graham
hinted the president was going to need to make a grand gesture if he wants republicans to support anything on energy and
there is not 60 votes doing energy-only for
. only when you marry up
, cleaning up the air with
do you get the transformational aspects of
i'm hoping for.
reporter: by the way, brian, the announcement today by the president was made at a
that was yet another
to republicans as graham believes if the president couches this as a
issue, he has a better chance to get republicans onboard, the entire
starting us off. now we