Trump Approves Resumption of Oil Drilling on US Coasts

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Still, Pam Giblin, an Austin, Texas-based environmental attorney who represents energy companies said Trump's order is welcome news to her clients.

President Donald Trump gestures as he answers a question from a members of the the media after signing an Executive Order in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 28, 2017.

Trump said the review would result in the reversal of president Barack Obama's Arctic leasing ban and create jobs. Under current restrictions, about 94 percent of that outer continental shelf is off-limits to drilling.

Weeks before leaving office, Obama banned new oil and gas drilling in federal waters in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, protecting 115 million acres (46.5 million hectares) of federal waters off Alaska and 3.8 million acres in the Atlantic from New England to the Chesapeake Bay.

In this sense, Trump authorizes Zinke to consider the possibility of repealing or changing "onerous regulations that delay the creation of employment". "Drilling off our coasts harms our oceans, marine wildlife and coastal communities with leaks and catastrophic oil spills - like the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, which dumped more than 130 million gallons of toxic crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico seven years ago".

Trump called his executive action "another historic step" toward increased domestic energy production. The executive order relating to offshore drilling provides hope that drilling on the outer continental shelf off the state's northern coast may be allowed again.

To ban the offshore drilling, Obama used a relatively obscure provision of a 63-year-old environmental law meant to protect environmentally sensitive areas.

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"There are no jobs on a dead planet", environmental group Oceana said in a tweet Friday. It also calls for a sweeping review of national marine sanctuaries.

"With this executive order, the Trump administration is threatening the 1,100 miles of California coastline that the citizens of California own, and that we have fought to protect from special interests", said Tom Steyer, a top Democratic donor and the president of NextGen Climate, an environmental advocacy group.

While Trump vowed to pull the USA out of the agreement during his campaign, the administration has not yet signaled whether it plans to do so.

Trump defended his order as one that would create jobs. "So it is stunning for us to learn this morning that the new considering opening up California water to new oil drilling. we will oppose those efforts".

"It's not quite as simple as the president signs something and it undoes the past", said Sean Hecht, a University of California, Los Angeles environmental law professor. After the last administration spent eight years systematically closing off access to the Arctic, this executive order puts us back on track to explore and ultimately produce the prolific resources in that region.

Trump's order directs the U.S. Interior Department to review the current offshore drilling program allowances and asks the department to expand the program.

"The lifting of the ban does not necessarily make drilling in the Arctic a compelling proposition", she said.