🎉 Our shop is live! Support us by visiting 🎉
Hero background image

Drilling and Extraction

Complete 12
In Progress 7


Made significant cuts to the borders of two national monuments in Utah and recommended border and resource-management changes to several more.
Lifted an Obama-era freeze on new coal leases on public lands. In April 2019, a judge ruled that the Interior Department could not begin selling new leases without completing an environmental review. In February 2020, the agency published an assessment that concluded restarting federal coal leasing would have little environmental impact.
Finalized a plan to allow oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, a move that overturns six decades of protections for the largest remaining stretch of wilderness in the United States. The Trump administration held last-minute lease sales in December, but failed to attract major interest from fossil fuel companies.
Opened more than 18 million acres of land for drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, a vast swath of public land on the Arctic Ocean. The Obama administration had designated about half of the reserve as a conservation area.
Lifted a Clinton-era ban on logging and road construction in Tongass National Forest, Alaska, one of the largest intact temperate rain forests in the world. (The Clinton-era rule applied to much of the national forest system.)
Approved construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, less than a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Obama administration had halted the project, with the Army Corps of Engineers saying it would explore alternative routes. In 2020, a federal court reversed the Trump administration’s decision to allow the pipeline to run along its current path, but it was allowed to continue operating.
Rescinded water pollution regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands.
Withdrew a requirement that Gulf oil rig owners prove they can cover the costs of removing rigs once they stop producing.
Moved the permitting process for certain projects that cross international borders, such as oil pipelines, to the office of the president from the State Department, exempting them from environmental review.
Changed how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission considers the indirect effects of greenhouse gas emissions in environmental reviews of pipelines.
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.
Loosened offshore drilling safety regulations implemented by the Obama after following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, including reduced testing requirements for blowout prevention systems.


Proposed opening most of America’s coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling, but delayed the plan after a federal judge in 2019 ruled that reversing a ban on drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans was unlawful. Ahead of the 2020 election, Mr. Trump announced he would exempt from drilling coastal areas around Florida, a crucial battleground state, Georgia and South Carolina.
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. The Supreme Court in July 2020 upheld that ruling, further delaying construction of the pipeline.
Withdrew proposed restrictions on mining in Bristol Bay, Alaska, despite concerns over environmental impacts on salmon habitat, including a prominent fishery. In late 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for one proposed project, known as the Pebble Mine, noting it would “result in significant degradation of the aquatic ecosystem.”
Proposed easing safety regulations for exploratory offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic that were developed after a 2013 accident.
Proposed weakening a rule that increased royalty payments for oil and gas leases on public lands, bringing them in line with market value. The Obama-era policy updated a 1980s rule that critics said allowed companies to underpay the federal government. An earlier attempt by the Trump administration to reverse the Obama rule was struck down in court, but a separate court ruling exempted the coal industry from the updated pricing policy.
Proposed easing the approval process for oil and gas drilling in national forests by curbing the power of the Forest Service to review and approve leases, among other changes.
Approved the use of seismic air guns for gas and oil exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. The Obama administration had denied permits for such surveys, which can kill marine life and disrupt fisheries. However, the Trump administration’s permits to allow seismic surveys expired following a protracted lawsuit, ending the possibility of seismic air gun surveys in the Atlantic in the near term. Companies would need to restart the months-long permitting process.
Stay Connected

Join our mailing list