Energy

Obama to open Alaska petroleum reserve to new drilling

President Obama will open Alaska’s national petroleum reserve to new drilling, as part of a broad plan aimed at blunting criticism that he is not doing enough to address rising energy prices.

The plan, unveiled in Obama’s weekly radio address Saturday, also would fast-track environmental assessment of petroleum exploration in some portions of the Atlantic and extend the leases of oil companies whose work in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean was interrupted by the drilling moratorium after last year’s BP oil spill.

The measures come as high gasoline prices and the resulting popular anger threaten the fragile economic recovery and, possibly, the president’s reelection chances in 2012.

Full story: Obama to open Alaska petroleum reserve to new drilling