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Web Alert - US Offshore Drilling - Continuation

31 January 2018

In January, we published a web alert regarding the US Government's proposal to expand its Outer Continental Shelf for potential oil and gas lease sales. The Trump Administration had given permission to allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all US coastal waters, which consequently included Florida’s coastal waters. Florida lawmakers have strongly opposed US President Trump’s offshore drilling on the basis that Florida heavily relies on tourism and maintenance of its clean coastlines. US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made the announcement in January, removing Florida from any new oil and gas platforms. This means that some, but not all, of the Gulf of Mexico on Florida's western coast will be exempt from drilling. The decision was welcomed by Florida’s lawmakers who have been firmly against offshore drilling, as outlined above, especially after the events of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Despite the opposition by various US governors such as those from California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, other industry groups have welcomed these offshore drilling plans which, if successful, will see 90 percent of the US nation’s offshore and gas reserves open to leasing by drilling companies.