Environmentalists upset about Gulf Coast drilling

Coast residents and environmental groups are in an uproar over regulations backed by Gov. Haley Barbour that would allow oil drilling near the barrier islands – perhaps as early as next year.

State officials published the regulations to lease state waters for oil and gas drilling on Dec. 19, The Associated Press reported.

Mississippi Development Authority spokesman Dan Turner said Barbour directed MDA earlier this year to move forward with issuing the leasing rules because the governor wanted to conclude the effort before he left office.

Hattiesburg American