Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Interior announced its plans to open over 90 percent of America’s Outer Continental Shelf for offshore oil and gas exploration and development.
As part of the development of the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, the Administration’s plan proposes the largest number of lease sales in U.S. history. The proposal includes areas off the coast of Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, including California and Florida.
The announcement advances President Trump’s America First Offshore Energy Executive Order issued in April 2017. In that Executive Order, the President ordered a review of expansions and designations for 11 national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments. In response, Americans from all walks of life submitted over 850,000 comments expressing support for sanctuaries and monuments — underscoring overwhelming public support to protect these iconic places.
This announcement is part of a public process to develop the final National OCS plan for 2019-2024. The Administration will be asking for the public’s input and holding public meetings starting later this month.