Experts: Long road ahead for Trump offshore drilling order
President Donald Trump’s executive order seeking to find new ocean expanses in the Atlantic and the Arctic for offshore drilling isn’t likely to reach its goals anytime soon, but instead will kick off a yearslong review and legal battle.
Trump signed the order Friday aimed at dismantling a key part of former President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy.
“This executive order starts the process of opening offshore areas to job-creating energy exploration,” he said. “It reverses the previous administration’s Arctic leasing ban and directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to allow responsible development of off-shore areas that will bring revenue to our treasury and jobs to our workers.”
Despite Trump’s assertion that the nation needs to wean itself of foreign oil, U.S. oil imports have declined in recent years as domestic production boomed amid improved drilling techniques opening up once unreachable areas.
And environmental law and policy experts questioned Trump’s authority to reverse Obama’s withdrawal of certain areas in the Arctic or Atlantic to drilling, a question likely to be decided in the courts.