The Obama administration is currently weighing public comments on a draft offshore oil and gas leasing proposal that for the first time in history would open an area of the Atlantic 50 miles off the East Coast from Virginia to Georgia to drilling.
As a Facing South investigation detailed, the Atlantic drilling plan is being promoted by an alliance of coastal state governors working closely with oil and gas industry lobbyists under the leadership of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R). It's opposed by a growing grassroots movement that includes environmentalists, business groups, coastal residents and elected officials.
The following timeline highlights key events in the decades-long push for and against Atlantic drilling, from the oil crisis of the 1970s that sparked calls for expanded domestic drilling to the explosion in the number of East Coast communities taking formal stances against the current Atlantic drilling proposal.