In late April, President Trump signed an executive order that could open up more areas in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Arctic to offshore drilling. This move comes in sharp contrast to President Obama, whose actions sought to place more areas off-limits to oil and gas exploration off of America’s coastline.
President Trump’s order does not mean that offshore drilling in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf or other areas will happen; instead, it begins a regulatory process that could eventually lead to oil and gas production in these areas. This would take years, perhaps over a decade, to happen.
Reaction from energy companies has been supportive, while environmental groups have expressed their displeasure. Politicians from the affected states are falling on both sides of this issue.
In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Mark Warner, both Democrats, support offshore drilling as long as Virginia receives a share of the revenue from it. Republican Representative Barbara Comstock from that state has introduced legislation that would provide this revenue-sharing for the commonwealth. Other Republican members of that state’s delegation support offshore drilling, while Democratic members from the House delegation oppose it.
Alaska’s elected officials, such as Republican Rep. Don Young, are strongly in favor of expanded oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. At the opposite end of the country, Florida Democrats such as Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schulz have vowed to fight the president on this issue.
North Carolina’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, has expressed concerns about offshore drilling but has not stated that he opposes the President’s action. GOP Congressman Richard Hudson has praised the president for his move.
Do you support offshore oil and gas exploration? Or do you think that drilling for oil and gas off of our nation’s coast is the wrong direction for our energy policy?