Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Long road ahead for Trump offshore drilling order

Warren Dawson | 10 May, 2017, 04:11

Trump said in signing the order Friday that it will produce "countless" jobs and make the United States "far more energy independent".

President Donald Trump is re-opening for oil exploration areas that President Barack Obama had closed, a move that environmental groups have promised to fight. Bill Nelson. He's filed legislation with 20 other Senators that would block any additional areas being opened to offshore drilling until 2022.

Zinke will also review current regulations and permit requirements for offshore drilling and seismic research. "It amounts to another brazen power grab for the oil lobby that we, and the American people, will oppose", said Wilderness Society President Jamie Williams.

The order directs Zinke to revise or begin a new five-year plan for oil and gas development that considers areas the Obama administration placed off-limits.

Obama's indefinite prohibition on new drilling in U.S. waters in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska, including most of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, and in 31 underwater canyons in the Atlantic Ocean was enacted last December under a 1953 law.

The US President said that increased energy production of federal lands and waters boosts the security and decreases dependence on imported energy.

"Now, the Trump administration is stepping in to take immediate action that will bring back production in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic that were taken off limits, and also conduct a more comprehensive review of our offshore policies", she said.

The oil and gas industry welcomed the move.

Frost advisory issued for tonight; chill expected to linger through mid-May
The frost advisory was issued for Southern Erie County, including Orchard Park and Springville, from midnight until 9 a.m. Northern lower MI is under a Freeze Warning Monday morning as temperatures are expected to drop into the low to mid 20s.

Astoundingly, Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke told reporters that he had not considered climate change as a factor in the decision to expand the development of fossil fuels. They pointed out the order comes seven years after a large oil spill from a BP BP.L platform in the Gulf of Mexico, an event that had led green groups to urge a slowdown in offshore oil development. "Spills don't just devastate ecosystems - local economies that depend on the health of our environment and clean water also feel extreme pain", said Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida did not respond to a request for comment about Trump's executive order.

On Wednesday, Trump called for a review of wilderness areas that were declared national monuments over the past 20 years, an order with the goal of possibly opening up these areas to oil drilling and mining.

"That's a commitment that the President made on the campaign, and another promise he's fulfilling", he said.

Legal scholars said Trump would enter uncharted territory if he seeks to undo a national monument proclamation in an effort to remove environmental protections.

Trump had campaigned on a promise to do away with Obama-era environmental protections that he said were hobbling energy development and undermining US national security without providing any tangible benefits, cheering industry but enraging environmental advocates.

The executive order also calls for review of any national marine sanctuary created or expanded over the past decade.

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