Tommy Beaudreau and Jason Bordoff explore what's next for offshore oil and gas leasing under the Trump Administration. The authors first provide a brief overview of the offshore oil and gas leasing process under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and the Obama Administration’s approach to the offshore oil and gas program. They note that decisions by the Obama Administration about the areas to include in – and exclude from – the completed 2017-2022 Program, and its exercise of authority to withdraw substantial areas off of Alaska and in the Atlantic, set the stage for potential action by the Trump Administration on access to offshore oil and gas resources, reported to be coming in an executive order later this week. Beaudreau and Bordoff then outline three potential paths the Trump Administration may take to reverse President Obama’s actions and expand access to offshore conventional energy resources which include:

  • Executive action that attempts to rescind some or all of the Obama Administration’s withdrawals under Section 12(a). 
  • Initiate the OCSLA Section 18 planning process and develop a new Five Year Program to supersede the current 2017-2022 Program. 
  • Work with Congress to open areas and schedule offshore oil and gas lease sales legislatively.