Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Trump Administration to allow oil and gas drilling along U.S. coastlines

Trump Administration to allow oil and gas drilling along U.S. coastlines

"As the Department of Interior works to finalize their draft plan, I urge Secretary Zinke to recognize the Florida Congressional delegation's bipartisan efforts to maintain and extend the moratorium in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and remove this area for future planning purposes", Rubio said in a statement.

But the plan, which Zinke described as an opening proposal in what is likely to be a long negotiation, prompted swift disapproval - including from several Republicans representing coastal states. "It must be opposed to the fullest extent that is legally possible".

"They have to jump through a lot of different hoops", he said.

"The administration's backward-looking approach puts oil and gas profits first - and will place our coastal communities and all they support at risk of the next BP-style disaster", said Natural Resources Defense Council President Rhea Suh.

"You can't underestimate the geopolitical significance of America being the world's largest energy producer", Harris said in a statement.

The proposal would increase drilling sites off the coasts of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico.

The opposition towards the stem order has already begun with California Governor Jerry Brown joining the governors of OR and Washington and issuing a statement saying, "For more than 30 years, our shared coastline has been protected from further drilling, and we'll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, shortsighted action".

In December 2016, as he was preparing to leave the White House, President Obama withdrew leasing plans for the Arctic seas off Alaska. "Just like with mining, not all areas are appropriate for offshore drilling, and we will take that into consideration in the coming weeks".

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Industry groups praised the plan.

It's also not clear that there's sufficient demand to expand drilling in the Atlantic. In April, however, an executive order by Trump required the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to start preparing a new National Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, which would open parts of the Atlantic to offshore drilling. And a campaign director at Oceana says there is "widespread" opposition at the local level to drilling expansion. "We don't think this is something to be proud of".

"Nobody is better at producing clean, quality, responsible energy than the U.S.", Zinke said.

"The magnitude of business opposition to drilling in the Atlantic for oil and gas is now far more evident", Knapp said in a news release. There are 23 oil and gas platforms in federal waters more than three miles off the California coast, according to the agency. Obama later reversed course following an outcry from environmentalists, including in Maryland, concerned about the effect a spill would have on beaches and the fishing industry.

Supporters, including Republican members of Congress, say Trump's plan will secure "energy dominance" for the country. Blue crabs, for instance, begin their life floating in and out of the mouth of the bay.

"These ocean waters are not President Trump's personal playground".

"We are beginning to see progress in Bay restoration", he said.

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