Trump to Seek Biggest Offshore Drilling Increase in Decades

January 3, 2018

The Trump administration is poised to open the door to selling new offshore drilling rights from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arctic Sea, igniting a fight with coastal residents worried about oil spills befouling beaches and jeopardizing tourism dollars.

The proposal -- set to be the most expansive such offering in decades -- is a response to President Donald Trump's April order encouraging the Interior Department to auction drilling rights in Atlantic waters that former President Barack Obama ultimately ruled out after a backlash from communities up and down the U.S. East Coast.

The plan, set to be unveiled in the coming days, will propose auctioning oil and gas drilling rights in the Arctic Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and possibly Pacific waters around the U.S., said people familiar with the program who asked not to be identified before a formal announcement.

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