Trump Plans to Open 90% of Offshore Land to Drilling
Trump Plans to Open 90% of Offshore Land to Drilling
An oil platform near Santa Barbara California
05 January, 2018, 16:30
"This political decision to open the magnificent and handsome Pacific Coast waters to oil and gas drilling flies in the face of decades of strong opposition on the part of Oregon, Washington and California - from Republicans and Democrats alike", Gov.
Independent experts are dubious.
As per reports, over the next five years, more than 90 per cent of the offshore reserves of the United States would be accessible to the energy companies for drilling.
"Nobody is better at producing clean, quality, responsible energy than the U.S.", Zinke said. "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".
Members of the S.C. House of Representative formed a subcommittee previous year to look at the pros and cons of leases for offshore testing and drilling.
The Trump administration on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 moved to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a plan that would open up federal waters off the California coast for the first time in more than three decades. This includes areas where drilling has been blocked for decades.
Supporters, including Republican members of Congress, say Trump's plan will secure "energy dominance" for the country. The plan still faces a year or so of public comments and revisions, during which time areas can be removed from consideration for drilling. The American Petroleum Institute's Erik Milito said it would increase national energy security, encourage economic growth, help consumers and create thousands of new jobs.
The West Coast is likely to be a particular point of conflict; the governors noted that it has been decades since the federal government sold drilling leases in the region, and liberal coastal communities are likely to balk along with their political leadership at the idea of new rigs appearing off their beaches.
A coalition of more than 60 environmental groups have denounced the plan, saying it would impose "severe and unacceptable harm" to America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life.
"The waters off the mouth of the Chesapeake are as much a part of the bay system as all the fresh-water rivers that feed it", Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker said in a statement.
"These ocean waters are not President Trump's personal playground". Rep. Brian Mast, a conservative Republican who represents a coastal district north of Miami, said oil drilling off the Florida coast "puts our economy, environment and marine life at risk". In a joint statement Thursday, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee vowed to "do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action". Final approval is unlikely for months or even years.
In a conference call with journalists, Zinke said any new oil leases would first undergo environmental review, and would not be exempted from the National Environmental Policy Act or other laws.
The energy industry welcomed the proposal, framing it as an opportunity to secure long-term US energy independence. There are 23 oil and gas platforms in federal waters more than three miles off the California coast, according to the agency.
"The Trump administration's plan not only ignores the risky nature of dirty and unsafe drilling, but also the people and coastal businesses who would be most affected".
Still, Bordoff believes some new areas are likely to be opened and that "could have an impact on US production".
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