Long road ahead for Trump offshore drilling order

Trump Signs Order to Expand Arctic Drilling

The Associated Press reports Trump signed an executive order Friday to roll back restrictions on oil drilling in the Arctic.

Trump signed an executive order calling for the review during a ceremony at the White House.

'We are unleashing the knots of the USA energy and paving the way for the creation of thousands and thousands of jobs, ' he said.

He used a provision in a 1953 law - the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act - that gives the president authority to make future oil and gas exploration on unleased parts of the ocean lying three miles offshore and under USA jurisdiction, out of bounds.

Trump, with the order, is directing his interior secretary to review an Obama-era plan that dictates which locations are open to offshore drilling, with the goal of the new administration to expand operations.

Coastal bird and turtle habitats, fish stocks, and other wildlife - and the numerous businesses that cater to folks who come to enjoy them - would all be facing new risks from major oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon disaster, as well smaller, less attention-grabbing spills that happen regularly in the Gulf of Mexico, she notes.

The U.S. Outer Continental Shelf refers to all submerged land belonging to the U.S., starting about three nautical miles off the coast and continuing to 200 nautical miles offshore.

"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 Councilman Mike Bonin, who introduced the motion. A legal challenge is nearly inevitable.




While some, notably Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, believe that the removal of drilling bans will stimulate not just the oil industry but also the wider USA economy, others are skeptical.

Trump is within his authority to order a review of the five year plan at any time, but any action beyond that could raise legal questions, Murray said. In other words, drillers will likely have to wait a while before they venture into the Arctic, if they even want to.

California officials said Friday they will battle any attempt to open the state's coastline to new drilling.

"More drilling will also set us back in our fight against climate change, shackling us to the heavily polluting fossil fuels of the last century, driving more carbon pollution and slowing America's transition to clean energy".

"Why on earth would someone choose to push drilling in the riskiest and most expensive places on the planet when the current oil glut will make such ventures unprofitable for the foreseeable future?" he said.

But the plan faces opposition from the fishing industry, tourism groups and even the US military, which has said Atlantic offshore drilling could hurt military maneuvers and interfere with missile tests needed to help protect the East Coast. In 1988, under the leadership of former Los Angeles City Councilmembers Marvin Braude and Zev Yaroslavsky, the Los Angeles City Council sponsored voter-approved Proposition O, which effectively ended new oil drilling off the Los Angeles coast.

Protecting these areas means a great deal to the local residents and coastal communities that rely on the cleanliness of our beaches and our tourism economy - a $43 billion industry that supports more than 500,000 jobs.

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