The Trump administration dramatically increased American energy corporations’ access to offshore drilling across the US on Thursday, announcing the decision to open nearly all coastal waterways throughout the nation to oil and gas exploration, reports Fox News.
The US Department of the Interior unveiled nearly 50 possible locations for companies to apply for drilling permits from locations as diverse as the California coast all the way to the Florida panhandle; sites previously unavailable for development for nearly 30 years.
“Responsibly developing our energy resources on the Outer Continental Shelf in a safe and well-regulated way is important to our economy and energy security, and it provides billions of dollars to fund the conservation of our coastlines, public lands and parks,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement.
“This is a draft program,” Zinke added. “Nothing is final yet, and our department is continuing to engage the American people to get to our final product.”
President Trump routinely vowed on the campaign trail to open vast territories across the US to increased energy opportunities, particularly the continental shelf and shale reserves across Appalachia.