US Won't Lift Ban on Offshore Gulf Drilling It's a reversal of a pre-BP decision By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Dec 1, 2010 2:21 PM CST 15 comments Comments In a June 23, 2010, file photo, crews work to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washed ashore at Pensacola Beach in Florida. (Michael Spooneybarger) (Newser) – In a reversal, the Obama administration said today it will not pursue offshore drilling off the East Coast of the US and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. A senior administration said that because of the BP oil spill, the Interior Department will not propose any new oil drilling in waters off the East Coast for at least the next seven years. President Obama's earlier plan—announced in March, three weeks before the April BP spill—would have authorized officials to explore potential for drilling from Delaware to central Florida, plus the northern waters of Alaska. The new plan allows potential drilling in Alaska, but officials said they will move cautiously before approving any leases.