The Trump administration will not move forward with plans to open virtually all federal waters to offshore drilling, according to recently confirmed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.
The administration is putting the expansion on hold after a federal judge shot down its attempt to overturn President Barack Obama’s Arctic drilling ban, Bernhardt told The Wall Street Journal.
The ruling could lead to a prolonged appeals process that delays the Interior Department’s decision on which offshore areas it will put up for auction, Bernhardt said.
Last month, Judge Sharon Gleason for the District Court of Alaska ruled that President Donald Trump’s executive order overturning Obama’s Arctic drilling ban was unlawful and invalid.
In doing so, Gleason ruled in favor of environmental groups, who argued that Congress gave the U.S. president the power to remove federal waters from consideration under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, but not the authority to overturn a previous president’s withdrawal.