The Trump Internal Department announced Thursday plans to offer blocks within the Arctic, Atlantic as well as also Pacific oceans for oil as well as also gas exploration in an ambitious completely new several-year offshore lease plan.
Internal Secretary Ryan Zinke said the draft proposal for offshore leasing between 2019 as well as also 2024 would likely offer about 0 percent of the U.S. outer continental shelf, the largest lease sale ever. The only area that will will not be included will be the North Aleutian Basin in Alaska.
The plan would likely open the door for drilling in areas far beyond the U.S. epicenter of offshore drilling within the central as well as also western Gulf of Mexico, giving oil as well as also gas companies the opportunity to explore areas left out of leases for decades.
however the move also sets up a battle with environmental groups as well as also coastal governors opposed to drilling off the shores of states by California to North Carolina. Additionally, that will comes at a time when oil prices are on the rise, however stuck in a range that will makes multibillion-dollar projects in completely new offshore areas unattractive for many drillers.
that will would likely also overturn indefinite bans on drilling in much of the Arctic Ocean as well as also parts of the Atlantic announced during the final days of the Obama administration, potentially sparking a court battle over executive authority.
The administration’s expansive lease schedule was widely anticipated.
In April, Trump signed the America First Offshore Energy Executive Order instructing Zinke to revise the current several-year schedule for leasing blocks of the U.S. outer continental shelf, the waters off the U.S. shore that will the federal government governs. At the time, he explicitly said that will reversed the Obama administration’s ban on Arctic leases.
Revisions are not uncommon when a completely new president takes office; Obama initiated a completely new several-year planning process in his first term.
The revision process, which includes conducting environmental impact studies as well as also taking public comments, has taken about two years within the past, said Connie Gillette, chief of public affairs for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the unit of the Internal Department that will oversees the lease schedule. Gillette confirmed to CNBC that will the bureau will attempt to finalize the plan by 2019, however would likely not circumvent the process.
Zinke said Thursday that will Internal would likely try to complete the process in “months.”
In its latest plan for the 2017-2022 period, the Obama administration offered a conservative selection of leases within the western as well as also central Gulf of Mexico as well as also Alaska’s Cook Inlet, leaving contested areas like the Atlantic, Pacific as well as also eastern Gulf of Mexico off the table.
Drilling within the Atlantic as well as also Pacific outer continental shelf faces stiff opposition by many governors, including Trump allies like Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
“I have already asked to immediately meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss the concerns I have with This particular plan as well as also the crucial need to remove Florida by consideration,” Scott said in a statement.
@FL:GovScott: Governor Scott’s Statement on Trump Administration’s Plan on Offshore Oil Drilling:
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., also plans to challenge the Trump administration’s plans to relax offshore drilling safety rules put in place after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.