Executive Order

Open for Business in Uncharted Waters: Leasing the Outer Continental Shelf

Open for Business in Uncharted Waters: Leasing the Outer Continental Shelf

The U.S. Department of the Interior dove into 2018 with a proposal to open roughly the entire U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (hereinafter “OCS”) for potential oil and gas lease sales. The  proposal is in furtherance of the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (hereinafter “National OSC Program”). The National OCS Program currently preserves ninety-four percent of the total OCS acreage  by prohibiting any oil and gas exploration, or development therein. However, the January proposal made by U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, would open ninety-percent of the total OCS acreage for potential offshore drilling—almost a complete conversion from closed to exposed.