The federal government is proposing opening the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling, and is soliciting comments from the public.
It is part of a five-year plan released by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that would allow exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas off Georgiaup to Virgina. The draft of the 2017-22 program was released Tuesday. If approved, the program would allow exploration leading up to lease sales in 2021.
The release of the draft started a 60-day public comment period. Information about the plan is available at www.boem.gov/five-year-program. Comments can be submitted at www.regulations.gov.
Comments can also be submitted at public meetings set up by the bureau. The closest meetings will be in Jacksonville on Feb. 19 (3-7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront) and Charleston, March 11 (3-7 p.m. at Wyndham Garden Mount Pleasant/Charleston).