The Washington Post – President Trump signed an executive order Friday that aims to expand offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, as well as assess whether energy exploration can take place in marine sanctuaries in the Pacific and Atlantic.
The “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” will make millions of acres of federal waters eligible for oil and gas leasing, just four months after President Barack Obama withdrew these areas from possible development. In late December, Obama used a little-known provision in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to bar energy exploration in large portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and a string of canyons in the Atlantic stretching from Massachusetts to Virginia.
At the signing in the Roosevelt Room, where the audience included Vice President Pence and members of Congress, Trump emphasized that the U.S. has abundant offshore oil and gas reserves, “but the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production, and when they say closed, they mean closed.”
Noting that the lawmakers needed to return to Capitol Hill to approve a stopgap measure to keep the federal government open, Trump said, “We can’t spend too much time talking about drilling in the Arctic, right? And we’re opening it up.”
Read more at The Washington Post.