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Drilling and Extraction


  • Made significant cuts to the borders of two national monuments in Utah and recommended border and resource management changes to several more.
  • Rescinded water pollution regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands.
  • Scrapped a proposed rule that required mines to prove they could pay to clean up future pollution.
  • Withdrew a requirement that Gulf oil rig owners prove they could cover the costs of removing rigs once they have stopped producing.
  • Approved construction of the Dakota Access pipeline less than a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Under the Obama administration, the Army Corps of Engineers had said it would explore alternative routes.
  • Revoked an Obama-era executive order designed to preserve ocean, coastal and Great Lakes waters in favor of a policy focused on energy production and economic growth.
  • Changed how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission considers the indirect effects of greenhouse gas emissions in environmental reviews of pipelines.
  • Permitted the use of seismic air guns for gas and oil exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. The practice, which can kill marine life and disrupt fisheries, was blocked under the Obama administration.
  • Loosened offshore drilling safety regulations implemented by the Obama administration following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. The revised rules include reduced testing requirements for blowout prevention systems.

In Progress

  • Completed preliminary environmental reviews to clear the way for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Proposed opening most of America’s coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling, but delayed the plan after a federal judge ruled that Mr. Trump’s reversal of an Obama-era ban on drilling in the Arctic Ocean was unlawful.
  • Lifted an Obama-era freeze on new coal leases on public lands. But, in April 2019, a judge ruled that the Interior Department could not begin selling new leases without completing an environmental review. A month later, the agency published a draft assessment that concluded restarting federal coal leasing would have little environmental impact.
  • Repealed an Obama-era rule governing royalties for oil, gas and coal leases on federal lands, which replaced a 1980s rule that critics said allowed companies to underpay the federal government. A federal judge struck down the Trump administration’s repeal. The Interior Department is reviewing the decision.
  • Proposed “streamlining” the approval process for drilling for oil and gas in national forests.
  • Ordered review of regulations on oil and gas drilling in national parks where mineral rights are privately owned.
  • Recommended shrinking three marine protected areas, or opening them to commercial fishing.
  • Ordered review of regulations on offshore oil and gas exploration by floating vessels in the Arctic that were developed after a 2013 accident. The Interior Department said it was “considering full rescission or revision of this rule.”
  • Approved the Keystone XL pipeline rejected by President Barack Obama, but a federal judge blocked the project from going forward without an adequate environmental review process. Mr. Trump later attempted to side-step the ruling by issuing a presidential permit, but the project remains tied up in court.