The White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said an executive order (EO) signed by President Trump last month in support of offshore energy development, including oil and gas, will have a negligible cost impact to the federal government.
In a statement Monday, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said implementing the EO -- titled "Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy" -- would "have a de minimis impact on costs and revenues to the federal government," adding that the Department of Interior (DOI) and the Department of Commerce would be the only government agencies affected.
"The benefits of this EO include the potential for lower energy prices, leading to reinvigorated American manufacturing and job growth as well as improvements in military readiness," Mulvaney said. "Implementing this EO would have a de minimis impact on mandatory and discretionary obligations and outlays, as well as on revenues to the federal government, in the five-fiscal year period beginning in fiscal year 2017."
Trump signed the EO on April 28. It directs the DOI to consider allowing oil and gas leasing in several offshore areas, including the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, Alaska's Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). It also calls for a review of the proposed Well Control Rule, which DOI's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) developed in response to the Macondo well blowout.
Specifically, the EO calls for annual lease sales in the Western GOM, Central GOM, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Cook Inlet, Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic planning areas. It also orders DOI to ensure that any changes do not affect ongoing lease sales currently scheduled as part of the BOEM's OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022, which was finalized last November during the Obama administration.
The EO calls for DOI to coordinate with the Commerce Department to create a streamlined permitting process for privately funded seismic data research and collection in the offshore areas. It also ordered Commerce to refrain from designating or expanding any national marine sanctuary in the offshore.
Last week, DOI and Commerceannounced a review of 27 national monument designations in order to comply with the EO. Five of the 27 are marine monuments in the offshore.
The EO also calls for DOI to review the Offshore Arctic Drilling Rule, which BSEE and DOI's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management revised last July, partially in response to Royal Dutch Shell plc's misfortunes in the Arctic. The rule could ultimately be suspended, revised or rescinded.