Trump signs order aimed at opening Arctic drilling

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that would open up areas off the West Coast and the Northeast Unites States to oil drilling.

The new executive order means that areas in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans along with the US Gulf of Mexico could be opened up for drilling, reported the Reuters. "But the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production".

Mr. Trump's order also immediately nullifies Mr. Obama's 2016 withdrawal of a Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease in Alaska, which paused production in an offshore territory that the Department of Interior said contains almost 23 billion barrels of oil and 104 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

"Renewed offshore energy production will reduce the cost of energy, create countless new jobs and make America more secure and far more energy independent", Trump said at a signing ceremony at the White House. Council also fears what would happen if there were an oil spill that would close the beach and contaminate the waterways and ultimately cause a decline in tourism money.

Trump campaigned on making the United States more energy self-sufficient.

The oil and gas industry has pushed for Atlantic drilling and pledged that exploration would be done safely, with lessons applied from the disastrous 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

It will also direct Zinke to conduct a review of the locations available for offshore drilling under a five-year plan signed by Obama in November.

As part of the strategy, NPR reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has been ordered to review Obama's five-year plan, which included banning regions from energy exploration.

The order will also reverse Obama's move to place parts of the Arctic permanently off limits to drilling, and encourage more seismic surveying to determine which areas are likely to hold rich reserves of oil and gas. "We will vigorously oppose new drilling off the shores of our coast", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

US oil production has boomed in recent years, primarily because of improved drilling techniques such as fracking that have opened up production in areas previously out of reach of drillers.

President Trump's achievements in his first 100 days in office come in the forms of executive orders that don't need a vote in Congress.

"America is fortunate to have vast offshore energy resources which could fuel the global economy for decades", said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. This provision questions the presidential authority provided by the Antiquities Act of 1906 - the same federal law Trump targeted earlier this week with hopes of nixing national monument proclamations made by former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The energy industry has cheered the moves.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, who represents constituents in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, said she will introduce legislation that would prohibit new oil and gas infrastructure such as piers, wharves and pipelines in California waters and on the coastline.

At the same time, Trump's executive order directed the secretary of commerce to cease designating new marine sanctuaries or expanding any that already exist.