Drill, baby, drill goes beyond a catchy saying for the Trump administration. It is part of the administration’s energy policy. The President is making good on his promise to scale back regulations that have made it difficult for American oil & gas companies to compete with OPEC nations.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke proposed last month to increase offshore drilling on both U.S. coasts. His proposal would open up over 90 percent of the acreage of the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program to oil and gas drilling. Zinke also proposed to have the biggest amount of lease sales in American history. Unused Federal lands are up for grabs for oil and gas exploration and development. The Bureau of Land Management recently stated in a memo that oil and gas drilling policies for federal land implemented by the previous administration in 2010 would be rolled back. The memo also states that public review and disclosure of environmental harm from drilling and hydraulic fracturing will be removed.
Not only is the Trump administration calling open season for oil and gas exploration, but is reportedly planning on asking Congress to slash the budget for the Department of Energy’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs by 72 percent. May Boeve, Executive Director for 350.org has strong words about the reported plans. “This is the real war on American energy,” she said. “Trump is trying to purposely sabotage the burgeoning renewable energy industry to appease fossil fuel billionaires.” American workers in the oil & gas industry, however, are beyond pleased with the administration’s latest moves, as the industry has seen record growth in response to the new measures.
For decades, American petroleum companies have faced heavy opposition from Congress and the White House in trying to gain drilling rights, largely due to climate change lobbyists and EPA policies. Meanwhile, renewable energy has been a bottomless pit into which Congress has poured billions of dollars to appease the demands of people like May Boeve. President Trump has made a number of statements that indicate he is not going to allow climate change proponents to stand in the way of economic development. He said in 2016 that climate change is
A very, very expensive form of tax.
This triggered reactionary responses, such as the melodramatic caterwauling that claims President Trump will “surrender America’s leadership on clean energy,” as Elizabeth Noll at the Natural Resources Defense Council put it. However, Congressmen and Governors from oil & gas producing states like Oklahoma and Wyoming have said that the previous administration did more harm than good with its heavy-handed approach to regulating the industry.