|the region now opening for drilling|
Gov't to begin seismic surveys in Atlantic in drilling push
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Wednesday it is moving forward on seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean, the first step toward offshore drilling in a region where it has been blocked for decades.
The Interior Department said it is reviewing six applications by energy companies that were rejected by the Obama administration.
The oil and gas industry has pushed for the surveys, which map potential drilling sites for oil and natural gas. No surveys have been conducted in the mid- and south-Atlantic regions for at least 30 years.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month aimed at expanding drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, part of his promise to unleash the nation's energy reserves in an effort to reduce imports of foreign oil. Trump's order reversed an action by former President Barack Obama and faces fierce opposition from environmental activists and many Democrats, who say offshore drilling harms whales, sea turtles and other marine life and exacerbates global warming.