Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, newly-confirmed Interior Secretary David Bernhard said that a recent court ruling that blocked drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic has delayed the Trump administration’s plans to “vastly expand offshore drilling.”
Judge Sharon Gleason in Alaska ruled on March 30 that a 2017 order by President Trump to revoke the Obama administration’s ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans was illegal. The judge said that a president could remove certain areas of federal land and waters from development but could not reverse such bans.
Bernhard stated that the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) would not release its next five-year plan for oil and gas leasing on the U.S. outer continental shelf until the Trump administration is done appealing the case.
“By the time the court rules, that may be discombobulating to our plan,” Bernhardt told the Journal.
Since 2018, six states passed legislation or amendments to restrict offshore drilling.