President Trump Does a 180 on Obama’s Offshore Energy Policy

Here’s what a real “All-of-the-above” energy strategy looks like, and all it took was a stroke of a pen.

Unlike his predecessor, President Donald Trump is embracing American energy abundance. His latest action is an executive order reviewing President Barack Obama’s lock-down on offshore energy:

“Today we’re unleashing American energy and clearing the way for thousands and thousands of high paying American energy jobs,” said Trump, flanked by Republican lawmakers from energy-producing states during a White House signing ceremony.

“Our country is blessed with incredible natural resources including abundant offshore oil and natural gas resources, but the federal government has kept 94% of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production,” he said. “This deprives our country of potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions in wealth.”

The directive, known as the America First Offshore Energy Strategy, directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the current five-year development plan on the Outer Continental Shelf for offshore oil and gas exploration as well as review the regulations and permitting process for development and seismic research.

The E.O. reviews every offshore area and could lead to future opportunities in the Mid-Atlantic, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and off Alaska’s coast. In other words, there will be a comprehensive, strategic look at how we can safely develop all our offshore energy resources–oil, natural, gas, and wind.

Map of U.S. offshore oil and natural gas resources

Source: American Petroleum Institute.

Specifically about the Arctic, the E.O. reverses President Obama’s attempt to permanently block future energy development in the Arctic Ocean. This could open the door to accessing the 34 billion barrels of oil and the 60 billion barrels (equivalent) of natural gas below the Arctic coast of the U.S.

National Petroleum Council chart on Arctic energy resources.

Source: National Petroleum Council.

What’s more, not only does the E.O. re-evaluate what areas would be open to offshore energy development, but it also reviews nearly a dozen Interior Department rules issued by the Obama administration.

All in all it’s a benefit for energy security. “President Trump has made it clear that developing and producing more American energy is a win for the economy and for American families,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. “We whole heartedly agree.”



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