A recent court order decision has the Trump administration postponing its plan to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, it announced this week. The administration’s “efforts to boost oil and gas development across the country” was ruled as an exceeding of executive power by a federal judge in Alaska, NPR reported.
Last month the federal judge reinstated the Obama-era ban on expanding offshore oil and gas drilling.
“Given the recent court decision, the Department is simply evaluating all of its options to determine the best pathway to accomplish the mission entrusted to it by the President,” Molly Block, Department of the Interior spokeswoman, stated in an email.
While the Trump administration’s plan is to open up all of the United States’ waters to offshore oil and gas leasing, both environmental groups and lawmakers have criticized the controversial plan especially those from the coastal communities affected.
“This decision is the result of constant pressure from coastal communities, environmental groups, and elected officials who made it abundantly clear that offshore oil and gas drilling is dangerous, unwanted, and a threat to our economy and way of life,” Rep. Joe Cunningham, (D-S.C.), said.
The Trump administration said it will most likely appeal the court’s decision, but might “wait for the court process to play out before moving forward,” NPR reported.
“By the time the court rules, that may be discombobulating to our plan,” David Bernhardt, secretary of the Department of the Interior, said.