Trump administration proposes offshore drilling along Northern California coast

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Donald Trump's administration offers massive increase in USA offshore oil zones, making nearly the whole coastal of the country available for oil and natural gas development. Seven areas offered for new drilling would be in Pacific waters off California, where drilling has been off limits since a 1969 oil spill near Santa Barbara'. The Interior Department on Thursday released a plan that would let the government offer 47 leases for oil drilling rights on the USA coastline.

US President Donald Trump's administration is proposing a plan to open up for drilling protected areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the BBC reported Friday.

"This is going to be an fantastic plan".

The sector is still recovering from market saturation and the sharp decline in oil prices since 2014, making it less interesting for investors to drill in Alaska and coastal areas - the main territories affected by the new proposal of the administration.

In concrete terms, the government plans to grant 47 drilling permits in five years.

And environmental group Friends of the Earth (FOE) described the plans as "short-sighted" and "reckless". "Accordingly, I think it speaks very loudly that every single coastal municipality in SC - and over 140 municipalities along the East Coast - have formally opposed oil and gas development off the Atlantic coast", Sanford noted.

Jackson initially introduced the bill previous year, after Trump signed an executive order instructing the Department of the Interior to review regulations on offshore energy development.

Frank Knapp, founder of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, blames Washington for favoring the oil and gas sector at the expense of tourism. "That's why that is prohibited in law, until the year 2022", Nelson said. "It will be interesting to see how that all plays out given the long timelines you need for these projects". Reserves that companies had been banking on for future revenue could potentially be devalued, becoming so-called stranded assets. There are no current leases in the Atlantic, and the last sale was in 1983.

The news has delighted oil producers.

"If it's done the right way, on a serious note, I think that's good".

For now, oil and gas companies are putting the issue of stranded assets on the back burner. Others are fishermen, veterans, faith leaders and even former oil industry leaders. The document released last week announcing the new Gulf leases claims that the rule changes "would fortify the Administration's objective of facilitating energy dominance though encouraging increased domestic oil and gas production". Hannah-Beth Jackson's bill to block new leases for the construction of pipelines or other infrastructure in state ocean waters. The Atlantic Seaboard is one of them.

"By allowing greater access to our abundant offshore energy resources, this new plan would allow us to embrace our nation's energy potential, create good-paying jobs, and grow our state's economy while coexisting safely with local industries like fishing and tourism".

It will still take years for drilling off North Carolina and Virginia to take place, if it ever does.

Experts say that due to the long moratorium on outer continental shelf drilling, no one really knows how much oil there is and how expensive it is to produce.

"We are not going to accept it because this is our life, this is our soul, this is what we're all about at the Jersey shore", said Congressman Frank Pallone.

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