Trump Administration Appeals Alaska Offshore Decision

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By The Maritime Executive 05-29-2019 06:49:24

The U.S. Department of Interior has lodged an appeal to a federal court decision that stopped the reopening of portions of Alaska’s Arctic waters to oil and gas drilling.

In March, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that Trump exceeded his authority when he issued an executive order undoing protection put in place by Barack Obama on oil leasing in large parts of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

The decision of the Alaska District court has delayed development of a new five-year offshore leasing plan. 

The case will now go to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Vice President of Government and Political Affairs Tim Charters has applauded the appeal: "The Obama administration recklessly closed off American resources without the slightest consideration of our national needs or of the environmental impact of replacement energy production from other nations. The Trump administration’s reversal responsibly aims to restore our national security by opening and examining these areas for potential energy development.

“As China threatens to cut off American supplies of rare earth elements, we are reminded once again that our national security is closely tied to our resource and energy security, says Charters. “America's west coast is heavily dependent on foreign nations for energy; development offshore Alaska will directly undercut that dependence and make America more energy secure and economically prosperous."