Trump proposes massive expansion of offshore drilling

The Trump administration will ramp up offshore oil drilling

The proposal drew howls of protest from Republican and Democratic leaders in Florida, where offshore drilling is something of a third-rail political issue.

Hours after President Donald Trump's administration unveiled plans to massively expand offshore drilling, California lawmakers announced they'll re-introduce legislation to block the federal government from doing so ― at least near their shores. The five-year drilling plan also raises questions whether there is much interest in the Californian oil reserves by the American oil industry at a time when internal drilling and oil production is highest decades. "By comparison, the current program puts 94 percent of the OCS off limits". The plan does not include Alaska's Bristol Bay, existing marine sanctuaries, or areas around Hawaii and USA territories.

These areas, according to the Los Angeles Times, have been off limits for drilling since the time of the administration of Ronald Reagan - the USA president between 1981 and 1989.

"Prior to any individual lease sale in the future, (the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) will continue to incorporate new scientific information and stakeholder feedback in its reviews to further refine the geographic scope of the lease areas".

Trump's right hand man in cabinet Rex Tillerson was formerly CEO of oil giant Exxon Mobil
Trump’s right hand man in cabinet Rex Tillerson was formerly CEO of oil giant Exxon Mobil

Jeff Duncan, who in 2014 said "the Palmetto State is well suited to benefit from an energy boom", last week called the plan "tremendous news for American energy independence, economic development, and job creation".

"This announcement could help California increase our domestic energy production", said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, in a prepared statement.

A coalition of more than 60 environmental groups immediately denounced the plan, saying it would cause "severe and unacceptable harm" to America's oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life. "Today's announcement lays out the options that are on the table and starts a lengthy and robust public comment period", he said.

"Offshore drilling is inherently dirty", says John Fleming, staff scientist at the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity.

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At a news conference, Zinke said that "nothing is final" and that states and local communities would have a say before a final plan is adopted. As Secretary Zinke said, the plan will ensure United States energy dominance for the foreseeable future.

The agency noted 155 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate sent letters to Zinke in support of a new five-year plan.

The Democratic governors of North Carolina and DE are also opposed. Nineteen sales would be off Alaska, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, nine in the Atlantic and seven in the Pacific, including six off California. Environmental groups have opposed efforts to open these pristine areas up for drilling. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., in this year's election, it will be a nasty race.

"This proposal defies all common sense, and I will do everything I can to defeat it", he said. Mashuda says the proposal on offshore drilling will also put the United States behind in the fight against climate change and could hurt wildlife such as orcas, which already are endangered.

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The tragedy BP's Deep-water Horizon resulted in the death of 11 workers and a spill of nearly five million barrels of oil in the sea; in addition to nearly $ 40,000 million in fines and cleaning for the company, according to Politician.

"The oil spills are so catastrophic if they happen", said Carl Tobias, law professor at the University of Richmond Law School in Virginia.

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