President Donald Trump signed an energy-related executive order titled America-First Offshore Energy Strategy on April 28.
It encourages domestic energy exploration and production by expanding offshore oil and gas drilling.
The order reverses the Obama administration’s indefinite ban on oil and gas leasing in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.
“Our country is blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves. But the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production,” said Trump. “This deprives our country of potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth. I pledged to take action, and today I am keeping that promise.”
“Renewed offshore energy production will reduce the cost of energy, create countless good jobs, and make America more secure and far more energy independent,” he added.
The order directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review a plan by Obama that banned drilling in areas in the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic oceans. The Obama ban will be in place until after the review is done.
The executive order also halts the designation or expansion of any National Marine Sanctuary. The administration will also review all designations and expansions over the past decade within 180 days.
“The main takeaway is that the order maintains our responsibility as stewards of the environment while moving us forward towards energy security. Combined with the President’s previous actions reducing regulations and promoting clean and safe energy development, we are on the right track toward American energy independence,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer.