"The golden era of American energy is now underway," Trump said in a Thursday speech at the Energy Department
, photo: AP/Evan Vucci
29 of June 2017 16:12:15
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration said Thursday it is taking steps to expand oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as President Donald Trump continues to push for U.S. "energy dominance" in the global market.The Interior Department is rewriting a five-year drilling plan established by the Obama administration, with an eye toward opening areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans that now are off-limits to drilling. It's one of six initiatives that the president unveiled Thursday in hopes of generating more energy exports and jobs."The golden era of American energy is now underway," Trump said in a Thursday speech at the Energy Department. "And I'll go a step further: The golden era of America is now underway, believe me. And you're all going to be a part of it in creating this exciting new future."U.S. oil production has boomed in recent years, and exports of oil and natural gas are surging, primarily because of improved drilling techniques such as fracking that have opened up production in previously out-of-reach areas. Trump has pledged to ramp up production further, withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement because of the limitations that it could have placed on the burning of fossil fuels.While Trump has promised that the initiative will create millions of jobs, the energy sector employs fewer workers than it did a decade ago despite the recent boom. The Labor Department said there are 655,300 jobs in mining coal and extracting oil and natural gas, down from a peak of 1.18 million jobs in 1981.As the administration celebrated a self-proclaimed "energy week," Trump said more steps are needed to "unleash" domestic reserves and remove government regulations that could prevent the U.S. from achieving global dominance in energy.Trump and other officials say they are confident the country can pave the path toward energy dominance by exporting oil, gas and coal to markets around the world, and promoting nuclear energy and even renewables such as wind and solar power.
MATTHEW DALYJOSH BOAK