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Trump Signs Order to Expand Arctic Drilling

Trump Signs Order to Expand Arctic DrillingTrump Signs Order to Expand Arctic Drilling

US President Donald Trump on Friday signed an executive order aimed at expanding offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans — and maybe even in the Pacific Ocean.

The move, which is expected to lead to litigation in the courts, is the latest attempt to dismantle Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, The Verge reported.

Last month, Trump began the process to halt Obama’s cornerstone plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And on Wednesday, he signed another executive order that could expand oil and gas development on wilderness areas currently protected as national monuments.

Friday's executive order instructs the Department of the Interior to review locations for offshore oil and gas exploration and leasing that were put off limits by the Obama administration.

That includes millions of acres in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans that Obama withdrew permanently from drilling in December 2016. The order also asks for a review of marine monuments and sanctuaries created in the past 10 years and prohibits the creation of new ones, according to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who spoke to reporters about the order last night.

The Interior Department oversees some 1.7 billion acres on the outer continental shelf, the submerged lands off the coasts of the US.

The department is responsible for coming up with five-year plans to indicate which offshore locations can be leased for oil and gas development. Trump is now asking the Interior Department for a review of this five-year plan.

 

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