Trump Moves to Open Our Oceans to Drilling

The administration announced yesterday that it will start creating a new five-year plan for offshore oil and gas development.

In yet another attack on our environment and health, President Trump is working to open additional ocean waters to oil and gas drilling. Yesterday, Interior Department officials said that the administration is seeking to allow new leasing in the Arctic and Atlantic, scrapping President Obama’s five-year plan that forbids drilling in those areas through 2022—a plan finalized after an exhaustive, multi-year process, including the submission of more than 1.4 million comments from the public.

“Trump’s dirty energy nightmare is a wake-up call for the country,” NRDC president Rhea Suh said in reaction to the news. “He wants to retreat from millions of clean energy jobs, expose our oceans and coasts to the next BP-style disaster, and turn our country into a national sacrifice zone to fuel prosperity abroad.”

Trump touts the move as part of a strategy―a misguided one―to create jobs and make the United States a leader in energy production, but here’s the reality: oil prices are plummeting, and interest in offshore drilling is dropping along with them. Opening our fragile shores to oil and gas development is a dangerous idea that puts marine life and coastal communities at risk and contributes to the present and ever-growing impacts of climate change. A 45-day public comment period on Trump’s plan will begin early next week.

“We get the harm, foreign countries get the power, and big oil, gas, and coal take the profits,” Suh said. “That’s not great—it’s disastrous. We’ll stand up for cleaner, smarter ways to power our future—at home and abroad.”

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