By Cory Schouten
Trump administration officials floated a plan earlier this month to open most of the U.S. coastline to oil exploration, a broadside that immediately drew jeers from coastal state officials and environmentalists.
But experts say those decrying the proposal probably need not fear: The laughably broad scope of the plan — and its stumbling rollout, including an on-again, off-again exemption for all of Florida — suggests a poorly considered proposal aimed more at grabbing headlines and ruffling political feathers than at enabling actual new drilling.
The development of shale mining in large part has stymied the appetite of oil companies for new offshore projects, and most of the coastline the Department of the Interior is offering up would be unlikely to generate much demand for leases, save for a few promising areas including parts of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska.
A tailored, well-researched proposal (the Trump administration plan is neither) would have had a better shot of surviving a lengthy and tenuous government approval process, let alone a chance to overcome opposition from local leaders wary of offshore drilling, said Sam Ori, executive director of the University of Chicago Energy Policy Institute.
“You can start with your big campaign idea, but if your process for getting it implemented doesn’t adhere with the law and doesn’t adhere with the regulatory system we have in place, eventually it’s going to flame out, whether it happens at the agency itself or in the courts,” Ori told CBS MoneyWatch.
Continue reading at CBS News…