Trump signs Arctic oil drilling order

Trump signs Arctic oil drilling order

"Although Trump's executive order is a review, we are hopeful it will proceed in uplifting predecessor Barack Obama's permanent ban on new oil and gas drilling in federal waters", LeBlanc says.

The signing ceremony took place in the White House in the presence of energy industry executives and lawmakers from some coastal states. This will include Obama's move to quadruple the size of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a marine protected area near Hawaii created by President George W. Bush that Obama expanded by 442,781 square miles. Under current restrictions, about 94 percent of that outer continental shelf is off limits to drilling.

Near-historic low oil and gas prices on the national and worldwide markets have made the costs and risks of offshore drilling uncompetitive in many regions - something President Obama noted when he decided not to open these areas.

The executive order calls for a review of a five-year-plan that dictates which federal locations are open to drilling. "After the Santa Barbara spill in 1969 and the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, I'm shocked the President hasn't learned the simple lesson that drilling for oil and gas is dirty, risky and doomed to catastrophe".

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For instance, Obama had used his authority under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to protect Arctic areas from oil drilling late past year, a move Trump's order seeks to undo.

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.

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Environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, have also raised concerns about the executive order, while indicating that they will challenge it.

Trump's order also directed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to conduct a review of marine monuments and sanctuaries designated this past decade.

President Trump, a man whose idea of environmental protection means building a sea wall around his own golf course, has been slowly tearing down Obama-era measures in this regard via executive orders.

Zinke is charged with carrying out the review of the current five-year offshore leasing plan over the next couple of years.

President Donald Trump acted Friday to expand offshore oil drilling, a move that could affect Florida, which seven years ago this month reeled from the BP oil catastrophe. As oil and gas prices fall, drilling in the technically challenging and frigid waters of the Arctic delivers less marginal return than easier drilling. "But it is starting to change the lens through which government is talking about fossil fuels", she said.

"California's iconic coastal and marine waters are one of our state's most precious resources, and as elected officials, it is our duty to ensure the long-term viability of California's fish and wildlife resources, and thriving fishing, tourism and recreation sectors", de León said.

Trump, the first sitting president to address the group's annual convention in more than 30 years, assured the audience that he would defend their right to bear arms in a campaignlike speech reminiscent of his election rallies.

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