Trump Plans Vast Expansion of Offshore Drilling

The Trump administration on Thursday announced plans to expand offshore drilling in most U.S. waters, including in currently protected areas where governors or local officials oppose such action. According to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the proposal would allow industry companies to buy leases in at least 47 potential new areas between 2019 and 2024. Because, as The Washington Post noted, the expansion includes “protected areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic, where oil and gas exploration is opposed by governors from New Jersey to Florida, nearly a dozen attorneys general, more than 100 U.S. lawmakers and the Defense Department,” the plan is expected to face intense scrutiny and opposition. As such, Zinke noted that “nothing is final,” adding that “This is a draft program. The states, local communities and congressional delegations will all have a say.”