Long road ahead for Trump offshore drilling order

Long road ahead for Trump offshore drilling order

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida did not respond to a request for comment about Trump's executive order. Under current restrictions, about 94 percent of that outer continental shelf is off-limits to drilling.

The U.S. was the world's biggest oil consumer in 2015 with an average 19.4 million barrels per day, according to BP's report.

President Trump, before signing the executive order at the White House, bluntly said the plan "reverses the previous administration's Arctic leasing ban".

'We're opening it up.we're unleashing American energy and clearing the way for thousands and thousands of high-paying American energy jobs, ' Donald Trump said as he signed the order.

It will also direct Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of the locations available for offshore drilling under a five-year plan signed by Obama in November.

"Finally, because the Department of Defense is one of the largest consumers of energy in the United States, domestic energy production also improves our Nation's military readiness".

Under the current leasing plan, 3.8 million acres of the Atlantic and 115 million acres of the Arctic under USA jurisdiction are placed off-limits for leasing. For Trump, however, the drilling bans are an obstacle standing in the way of energy independence.

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The U.S. Outer Continental Shelf refers to all submerged land belonging to the U.S., starting about three nautical miles off the coast and continuing to 200 nautical miles offshore. His administration has stopped defending Obama-era pollution regulations challenged in court.

"America is fortunate to have vast offshore energy resources which could fuel the global economy for decades", said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S.

And it mandates that U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross review any new sanctuaries or expansions of sanctuaries that took place over the last 10 years. The Post says this "includes Hawaii's Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which Obama quadrupled in size past year, and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts off MA".

Legal scholars said Trump would enter uncharted waters if he seeks to undo a national monument proclamation in an effort to remove environmental protections.

The administration can redo the 5-year-plan, but it's a long process.

Environmental groups called Trump's recent order reckless and maybe even illegal, and several Democratic Senators have said they will fight his attempt to expand offshore drilling.

"The truth is we can not drill our way to energy independence", said Sen. To wit, he banned offshore oil drilling in the Arctic until at least 2022.

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Zinke said east coast lawmakers are keen to promote offshore wind and he is "optimistic" about its future.

Zinke said he has recently heard concerns about offshore drilling in Santa Barbara, California, and promised that he will listen to local communities when it comes to authorizing drilling.

"President Trump's Executive Order threatens our beaches, harbors, and waterways, and we must stand up to protect our environment by fighting his destructive and unsafe action", said Bonin.

Colvin reported from Washington, where Associated Press writer Matthew Daly also contributed to this report.

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