Trump signs order aimed at opening Arctic drilling

The order could open to oil and gas exploration areas off Virginia and North and SC, where drilling has been blocked for decades. "It reverses the previous administration's Arctic leasing ban".

Trump's executive order directs his new interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, to review Obama-era offshore drilling policies.

"This executive order's intent to expand offshore oil drilling could threaten our and our children's way of life".

Included in the order also is a directive for the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, to review "all designations and expansions of National Marine Sanctuaries, and of all designations and expansions of Marine National Monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906 designated or expanded within the 10-year period prior to the date of this order".

That includes millions of acres in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans that Obama withdrew permanently from drilling in December 2016. Invoking provision 12 (a) from the OCSLA could theoretically ban oil and gas licensing in these areas for an indefinite future.

Zinke said that leases scheduled under the existing plan will remain in effect during the review, which he estimated will take several years.

In an interview airing Friday evening on Fox News Channel's "The First 100 Days", Trump tried to deflect recent criticism of his decision to appoint Flynn as national security adviser despite Flynn's past lobbying on behalf of Turkish government interests and his acceptance of tens of thousands of dollars from a Russian state-sponsored television network.

Obama's plan cited the rarely used Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, which states the president, from time to time, may prevent new leasing of federal waters for oil and gas development.

The order will also reverse Mr Obama's move to place parts of the Arctic permanently off limits to drilling, and encourage more seismic surveying to determine which areas are likely to hold rich reserves of oil and gas.

The president added that he's "unleashing American energy and clearing the way for thousands and thousands of high-paying energy jobs".

The Energy Information Administration predicts that in the year 2040, traditional forms of energy, particularly fossil fuels, will provide nearly 80 percent of our energy needs, says Luthi.

"President Trump's Executive Order threatens our beaches, harbors, and waterways, and we must stand up to protect our environment by fighting his destructive and unsafe action", said Bonin.

Jackson said she will amend a now unrelated bill, SB188, to ban the State Lands Commission from approving new pipelines, piers and other oil infrastructure in state waters.

"We will vigorously oppose new drilling off the shores of our coast". It remains California's largest oil spill and ranks third in the US, behind the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill off the Gulf Coast and the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. As a resource state, Alaska needs flexibility to develop oil and gas responsibly. "This will also drive economic growth and job opportunities in communities across the country and reduce our dependence on energy from countries, which lack the strong safety and environmental safeguards that we have here at home".

  • Larry Hoffman