CNBC — January 4,2018 by Tom DiChristopher

The Trump Interior Department announced Thursday plans to offer blocks in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans for oil and gas exploration in an ambitious new five-year offshore lease plan.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the draft proposal for offshore leasing between 2019 and 2024 would offer about 90 percent of the U.S. outer continental shelf, the largest lease sale ever. The only area that will not be included is the North Aleutian Basin in Alaska.

The plan would open the door for drilling in areas far beyond the U.S. epicenter of offshore drilling in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, giving oil and gas companies the opportunity to explore areas left out of leases for decades.

But the move also sets up a battle with environmental groups and coastal governors opposed to drilling off the shores of states from California to North Carolina. Additionally, it comes at a time when oil prices are on the rise, but stuck in a range that makes multibillion-dollar projects in new offshore areas unattractive for many drillers.

It would also overturn indefinite bans on drilling in much of the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic announced during the final days of the Obama administration, potentially sparking a court battle over executive authority.

More at full article — link here: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/04/trump-aims-to-open-arctic-pacific-and-atlantic-to-offshore-drilling-in-ambitious-new-plan.html