THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
The government today has reached an agreement protecting sensitive coastal areas off Florida and Alaska from oil drilling, which has been prohibited since 1988, through Democratic and Republican presidencies.
Concern for our coasts is part of the common ground we share as Americans, not only in the areas protected today, but in places as different as California, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey and Washington. Once sensitive areas are damaged - beaches, the fishing industry, tourism - our natural heritage suffers greatly.
This settlement is good for the environment, good for taxpayers, good for the economy and fair to the oil companies.
I am pleased that Secretary Babbitt and Attorney General Reno reached this agreement with the oil companies. We celebrate today with the citizens of Florida and Alaska and I pledge continued protection of our coasts.