Trump Administration Plans To Open Up US Coasts For Drilling

13 January, 2018, 03:57 | Author: Bert Pena
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"We want to grow our nation's offshore energy industry, instead of slowly surrendering it to foreign shores".

The new five-year drilling plan also could open new areas of oil and gas exploration in areas off the East Coast from Florida to ME, where drilling has been blocked for decades.

Environmental activists say that if offshore drilling is allowed, New Jersey could see offshore oil rigs just 3 miles off the shoreline.

The administration announced a new five-year plan for energy leases in federal waters.

Other Maine Republicans are opposing the administration's offshore drilling plan.

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and ally of President Trump, blasted the proposal in a letter to the Interior Department a year ago, saying it threatened his state's $44 billion beach tourism industry that employs 300,000 people. Ed Markey, Florida Sen.

Seven new leases are targeted in the Pacific region, including two each for Northern California, Central California and Southern California, as well as one for the area off the Washington and OR coast.

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The triple threat of seismic airgun blasting to find oil and gas below the ocean floor, coastal industrialization and inevitable oil spills would forever change the Atlantic tourist economy, where drilling has never taken place. The new five-year drilling plan could open new areas of oil and gas exploration in areas off the East Coast from Florida to ME, where drilling has been blocked for decades. The process often begins broadly, with the number of potential sales and the available acreage generally whittled down as regulators work on the final plan.

The Draft Proposed Program includes 47 potential lease sales in 25 of the 26 planning areas - 19 sales off the coast of Alaska, 7 in the Pacific Region, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, and 9 in the Atlantic Region.

The auctioning off of the remaining waters in the Gulf are in line with the administration's policy of rescinding environmental protections to clear the way for commercial interests.

Zinke emphasized that the draft plan could be narrowed in response to feedback from the public and politicians. The proposal would also eliminate rules that mandate real-time streaming of data on oil drilling operations to onshore facilities where regulators monitor production.

It's ludicrous. The United States can only achieve true energy dominance and security by reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.

"To kick off a national discussion, you need a national plan - something that has been lacking the past several years", said Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association.

"We should keep as many options on the table for our future oil and gas and energy needs", said Erik Milito, a director with the American Petroleum Institute. He added that the USA has restricted offshore exploration as other countries including Canada and Mexico have stepped up their coastal activities. These are some of the same areas where coastal residents fought down an Obama administration plan to permit oil and gas drilling off the mid- and southeastern Atlantic coast. The Interior Department is proposing 47 possible auctions of drilling rights in almost all parts of the USA continental shelf.


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