Long road ahead for Trump offshore drilling order

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President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that would open up areas off the West Coast and the Northeast Unites States to oil drilling.

President Donald Trump, surrounded by Congressional and business leaders, gets up from his seat after signing an Executive Order in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 28, 2017. Among those actions are a move to reopen and maintain hundreds of US coal mines, an attempt to scrap fuel mileage regulations for future American-made vehicles, and the revocation of a federal law that targeted corruption in the energy industry.

The order reverses Obama-era restrictions on offshore drilling in parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and off the Alaskan coast, and it allows potential development of millions of acres of federal waters.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, during a briefing Thursday, claimed that the lack of drilling in federal waters during the Obama administration resulted in government losses of approximately $15.5 billion in revenue through royalties, rents and leasing. The 2010 gulf oil disaster had dramatic effects on the environment and tourism.

"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".

Citing his department's data, Zinke said the Interior Department oversees some 1.7 billion acres on the outer continental shelf, which contains an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil and 327 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas.


The Southern Environmental Law Center and Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast said in a news release they were rallying against Trump's desire to open the Atlantic Coast to drilling.

Frosh said that law could come into play as environmentalists seek to challenge Trump's order. In addition, it bars the creation or expansion of marine sanctuaries and orders a review of all areas protected within the last 10 years.

The legislation, likely to advance in the Democratic-controlled state Senate, sets up another battle between California and the president.

While Trump vowed to pull the USA out of the agreement during his campaign, the administration has not yet signaled whether it plans to do so. Allowing Trump's order to go unchallenged, Jackson argued, would risk future devastation. "We can not afford another disastrous oil spill", Congressman Salud Carbajal said, adding that California's coastal region generates over $1.9 trillion per year in GDP. But it was mourned by those in the oil industry in Alaska as well as many outside it who recognized the decline of other traditional fields and the desirability of keeping petroleum prospects healthy in the state.

Many lawmakers from Georgia to Virginia support offshore drilling, but the plan faces broad opposition from the fishing industry, tourism groups, and even the USA military, which has said Atlantic offshore drilling could hurt military maneuvers and interfere with missile tests the Navy relies on to protect the East Coast. In 1988, under the leadership of former Los Angeles City Councilmembers Marvin Braude and Zev Yaroslavsky, the Los Angeles City Council sponsored voter-approved Proposition O, which effectively ended new oil drilling off the Los Angeles coast.

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