US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on Thursday announced plans [press release] to make much of the US coast available for potential offshore drilling.
Zinke unveiled a 380-page Draft Proposed Program (DPP) [text, PDF] that includes 47 potential leases in 25 of the 26 planning areas.
According to Zinke:
Today’s announcement lays out the options that are on the table and starts a lengthy and robust public comment period. Just like with mining, not all areas are appropriate for offshore drilling, and we will take that into consideration in the coming weeks. The important thing is we strike the right balance to protect our coasts and people while still powering America and achieving American Energy Dominance.
A comment period will open January 16. The DPP Is expected to face opposition from environmental groups and some state officials.
Thursday’s announcement follows an April executive order [JURIST report] from President Donald Trump to expand off shore drilling exploration. Former president Barack Obama had moved to limit offshore drilling [JURIST report] toward the end of his tenure.