When President #Obama announced a five-year plan to keep the Arctic and Atlantic oceans off limits to drilling, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) promised to restore those leases once #Donald Trump is sworn into office. Obama issued the plan under the guise of his global warming agenda. Ryan said on Friday he will work with Congress and President Trump to undo the prohibitions that block exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas in the Arctic and Atlantic. Obama has promised even more regulations before he leaves office, tying up Congress for years.
In a released statement, Ryan said the Obama administration was putting up roadblocks to the country's energy development. He said that putting the Arctic off limits to exploration and drilling prevents America from accessing all of its natural resources. He noted the GOP’s ‘Our Better Way’ plan, which includes releasing America’s full energy potential.
First 100 days
As part of that agenda, Ryan said they would reopen the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans closed by Obama during his lame-duck status as well as other offshore areas. The new drilling plan announced by Obama last month would allow offshore drilling only in the Gulf of Mexico but prohibits drilling in the Atlantic or Arctic Oceans. Big Oil had been hoping that Obama would not block Arctic exploration and drilling.
Because Obama’s plan wasn’t a #Government regulation, undoing the Arctic drilling embargo will take effort and time. Republicans would have to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows Congress to reverse or repeal such executive branch decisions. Most experts agree it takes about a year under the CRA. While campaigning, President-elect Donald Trump said he would be in favor of more offshore drilling and utilizing all of America’s natural resources.
Enviros turn up the pressure
Anti-fossil fuel groups are so alarmed by the newly elected president they are pressuring Obama to issue an “emergency order,” which would withdraw some of the Arctic Ocean’s already existing drilling programs. Under existing law, President Obama could issue such an edict.
The anti-fossil fuel group Friends of Earth issued a statement that said Donald Trump wanted to return the country to a time of "drill baby drill,” a phrase coined by former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin (R). The group encouraged Obama to use his lame-duck session to keep as much of the country out of reach of fossil fuel companies.
Anti-drilling Dems on fire
One Democrat who agrees with that sentiment is California Rep. Jared Huffman, an adamant anti-drilling advocate. Huffman said, “If the new Congress and President Trump want to reward the oil and gas industry with a drilling spree, let’s make them work for it.” Huffman has worked tirelessly to kill pipelines that carry oil or natural gas, even though statistics show they are safer for the environment when compared to moving it via rail, barge, or tanker truck.
During his campaign, Trump refused to take donations from lobbyists or Big Oil and funded much of his campaign from small donations and his own personal wealth. Trump has been a critic of Obama’s job-killing agenda, which Trump has called nonsensical given the existing economic outlook. He has also vowed to remove all barriers to America’s energy independence.