Trump Administration Proposes Expansion of Offshore Drilling Blog Winston’s Environmental Law Update

Offshore drilling map jan 2018

In seeking to justify the rollback the Trump administration and its allies in the energy industry have promoted the lie that opening up new areas for oil drilling will boost the economy and make the United States "energy independent".

In the plan released by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, drilling could be expanded in those oceans, as well as the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has reportedly called President Trump to discuss his concerns. U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican from Longboat Key, called the proposal "reckless, misguided and potentially catastrophic to Florida".

"We've never had this type of active, deep conflict between the state and federal governments", Hecht said.

An offshore oil platform is seen in Huntington Beach
An offshore oil platform is seen in Huntington Beach

As administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt dismissed dozens of respected scientists from EPA science advisory boards and moved to replace them with industry-tied nonexperts. Energy API said that through the year 2035, those leases could create 840,000 jobs, add about 3.5 million barrels a day to the country's energy production, generate more than $200 billion in new revenues to the federal government, lead to half a trillion dollars in new private-sector investment, and add more than $70 billion a year to the us economy. Environmentalists a re sounding the alarms of potential dangers. Floridians will get a chance to comment on the proposal February 8 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Tallahassee.

"The oil spills are so catastrophic if they happen", said Carl Tobias, law professor at the University of Richmond Law School in Virginia. "Bundle up!" That prompted an update of NRDC's "Trump Lies" project to hold the president accountable for his environmental misstatements. "Just because we may differ on issues from time to time doesn't mean that we can't have an incredibly strong and good relationship".

A joint statement by 64 environmental groups said, "The Trump Administration's plan to unleash the dangers of drilling offshore is a major, unacceptable risk to hundreds of local communities, their coastal economies and marine life".

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Former President Barack Obama blocked Atlantic and Pacific drilling under a five-year plan finalized in 2016. As it is now written, the plan enables private companies to begin drilling off the coasts as early as 2019.

Zinke said the revenue raised by the lease auctions would be invested in renovating national parks. "This proposal defies all common sense, and I will do everything I can to defeat it", Nelson said in a statement.

On December 28, while the eastern USA was in a deep freeze, Trump tweeted: "In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record".

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Once (and if) approved, the new plan would offer for sale 12 leases in the Gulf of Mexico, 19 off the coast of Alaska, seven in the Pacific Region (i.e., California, Washington, and Oregon), and nine in the Atlantic Region (i.e., from NY down to Florida).

Marco Rubio, a Republican, in a statement asked Zinke "to recognize the Florida Congressional delegation's bipartisan efforts to maintain and extend the moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and remove this area for future planning purposes".

It also comes seven days after its administration -according to ABC7- announced changes to the rules on sub-sea drilling for gas and oil, which were imposed after the explosion of an oil rig in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico.

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"We're putting at risk a thriving fishing industry", he warns. Those regulations banned oil drilling off the southeast Atlantic coast and the coast of Alaska.

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