It begins: Obama shelves Bush plan to open more coastal waters to drilling

Via Gateway Pundit, noting that there’s already a bill to ban drilling in ANWR floating around in Congress. If Palin’s looking for a foothold in the national debate, here’s her chance:

On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ordered the plan be put on hold while his agency conducts a 180-day review of the country’s offshore oil and gas resources. Salazar’s critical comments about the plan signaled that the new administration will seek to rewrite it if not completely scrap it.

The Bush proposal “opened the possibility of oil and gas leases along the entire Eastern seaboard, portions of offshore California and the far eastern Gulf of Mexico with almost no consultation from states, industry or community input,” Salazar said at a news conference in Washington. “In my view it was a headlong rush of the worst kind.”…

Salazar did not directly address the bigger question: Whether Obama will seek to renew the three-decade-old presidential moratorium on drilling off most of the East and West coasts, which Bush lifted last July amid growing public anger over soaring gas prices…

The plan would have allowed drilling on 44 million acres of federal waters off Humboldt and Mendocino counties, and 89 million acres off San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

Exit question: Yes, granted, it’ll take years to start pulling the resources out of those waters. Even so, why wouldn’t a guy who’ll be in office potentially until 2016, who’s staring at a multi-year economic crisis and a nuclear arms race in the most critical energy region on the planet, want to plan ahead for bad contingencies by starting to drill now?