President Donald Trump is determined to maintain the United States as a global energy leader and foster energy security for the American people. To that end, he recently signed an executive order aimed at encouraging energy exploration and production, including on the Outer Continental Shelf, while at the same time ensuring that any such activity is safe and environmentally responsible.
At the signing of the America First Offshore Energy Executive Order April 28, President Trump pointed out that “the United States is blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves:”
“But the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production…This deprives our country of potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth.”
The executive order directs the Secretary of the Interior to review the current five-year development plan on U.S. offshore oil and gas explorations, as well as evaluate the regulations and permitting process for development in seismic research. The order also directs the Secretary of Commerce to refrain from designating any new marine monuments and sanctuaries or expanding existing ones, and to review the marine monuments or sanctuaries designated under the Antiquities Act within the last 10 years.
In a briefing to reporters, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said the President’s executive order puts the United States “on track for…energy independence.” Such independence, he noted, is key for a variety of reasons. It is a boon for job creation in the United States, where reliable, abundant, and affordable energy is a requirement in order to be competitive in manufacturing; in regard to the environment, it is far preferable that energy be produced in the United States, “under reasonable regulations, than have it be produced overseas with no regulations...America leads the world in environmental and safety precautions and protections, and we will continue that mission,” he said.
Lastly, Secretary Zinke defined energy independence as a matter of national security: “It is better to produce energy here than be held hostage by foreign entities.” And producing it here, he noted, will enable us to provide our allies with energy, as well.
President Trump called the executive order a move toward “unleashing American energy,” and an “historic step toward…a future with greater prosperity and security for all Americans.”