President Trump signed an executive order Friday to initiate the process of reversing restrictions on offshore oil and natural gas drilling imposed by former President Obama.
Energy industry officials and legislators from coastal states joined the president in a signing ceremony at the White House during which Trump lauded the executive order as a mechanism for job creation and economic growth.
“We’re unleashing American energy and clearing the way for thousands and thousands of high-paying American energy jobs,” Trump said at the ceremony.
The president noted that Obama had restricted access to 94 percent of the United States’ outer continental shelf, which “deprives our country of potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth.
“Renewed offshore energy production will reduce the cost of energy, create countless new jobs and make America more secure and far more energy independent,” Trump said, calling the order “another historic step toward … a real future with greater prosperity and security for all Americans, which is what we want.”
Trump signed the order on his 99th day in office and has now signed more executive orders in his first 100 days than any president in recent history.
The president pledged during his campaign to unleash the United States’ energy potential by enabling the production and use of more domestic energy, with a focus on fossil fuels. Trump’s order is a strong move in that direction which immediately repeals most of Obama’s ban on drilling in large swaths of the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska—a ban that was intended to be permanent.
The order also requests that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke revise Obama’s plan for offshore drilling rights sales between 2017 and 2022, specifically as they relate to drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans which have not seen drilling rights sales in years.
Zinke has also been asked by Trump to consider repealing or changing “burdensome regulations that slow job creation,” such as safety rules implemented following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
At the signing ceremony, Trump said, “This executive order starts the process of opening offshore areas to job-creating energy exploration.”
H/T: The Hill
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