U.S. President Donald Trump is moving forward with plans to change the five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program approved by the Obama administration in his quest to open up more federal land—including the Atlantic and in the Arctic—to drilling.
Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Trump said June 29 the federal government is creating a new offshore oil and gas leasing program, a move that follows his executive order late April to expand offshore drilling.
“America will be allowed to access the vast energy wealth located right off our shores. This is all just the beginning, believe me,” Trump said during a briefing. “The golden era of American energy is now underway.”
A request for information (RFI), published in the Federal Register on July 3, marked the first step in developing the new program. The RFI begins a 45-day public comment period.
The planning process for crafting a five-year program typically takes two or three years, the Interior Department said in a news release.