Under the Interior Department's draft proposal, spanning 2019 to 2024, more than 90 percent of the total acres on the Outer Continental Shelf would be made available for leasing. It proposes 47 potential offshore lease sales, the most ever over a five-year period, including 19 sales off the Alaska coast, 12 in the Gulf of Mexico, nine in the Atlantic Ocean and seven in the Pacific.
The industry faces stronger obstacles in the other areas the Trump administration offered for offshore drilling.
The Arctic is remote and expensive. The last offshore lease sale for the East Coast was in 1983 and for the West Coast in 1984.
Coastal governors and other political leaders along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, worried about potential spills, have said they oppose Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s plans, and some have vowed to block drilling.