Those include areas along the Florida coast and southeast U.S. coast where oil and gas drilling are now banned, under a moratorium that Democratic U.S. Sen.
In announcing the “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy”, Trump said the executive order will direct a “review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration”.
Opening Arctic waters could be devastating for wildlife and the ecology of the Arctic Ocean, as well as for coastal areas of Alaska, including the Arctic Refuge.
The order not only calls for a new five-year drilling plan, but it also reverses Obama’s move to place certain Arctic waters permanently off-limits.
The executive order seeks to undo former President Barack Obama’s indefinite ban on offshore drilling, Trump said at a signing ceremony Friday. The department oversees 1.7 billion acres of the outer continental shelf, which contains an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil.
“Now, the Trump administration is stepping in to take immediate action that will bring back production in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic that were taken off limits, and also conduct a more comprehensive review of our offshore policies”, she said. As the president, he has every right to.
The Energy Information Administration predicts that in the year 2040, traditional forms of energy, particularly fossil fuels, will provide nearly 80 percent of our energy needs, says Luthi.
Shortly after the signing, officials told reporters that it would admittedly take several years for these ecologically sensitive areas to be put up for auction. This review is likely to result in a relaxation of the strict protections the previous administration put on offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic and in the Arctic. But Zinke said that nothing is off the table, according to Bloomberg. The law that gives the president the authority to impose a drilling ban does not say whether the action can be undone by another president. “A new administration should look at the policies and make sure the policies are appropriate”. “Most of our food comes from the ocean”, he said. This will include Obama’s move to quadruple the size of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a marine protected area near Hawaii created by President George W. Bush that Obama expanded by 442,781 square miles. A legal challenge is nearly inevitable.
“Today’s executive order jeopardizes the long-term future of these parks and marine sanctuaries, opening the door to potential oil spills that could do irrevocable damage”, said Mark Wenzler, the group’s senior vice president. But because there’s no precedent, it’s unclear what the outcome of those lawsuits will be. “It’s not a fair situation because they are paying virtually nothing and we are paying massive amounts of money”, Trump said.
But groups like Oceana are ready to fight.
“Allowing offshore drilling is a forever decision that will forever change our way of life for the worse”, said Frank Knapp, president of Columbia, South Carolina-based Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast.