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Drilling Us Down to Nothing

What did Trump just do to our oceans?

Ugh, there's always more when it comes to Monsieur Cheeto. Now he's coming for our oceans! Recently Trump signed an executive order that permits a major expansion in offshore oil drilling. The order opens up new territories to drilling and gives the Interior Department permission to offer the largest drilling leases in years. This new five-year plan from 2019 to 2024 replaces Obama's plan (of course), which had oil leasing restrictions in place until 2022. Clean oceans, it was nice knowin' ya!

Why is he doing this?

Um...are you really asking that? Money. Duh.

While most U.S. waters are technically open for oil and gas development, drilling can only take place when a lease is sold under the government's five-year plan. That gives the government the opportunity to control where and when drilling takes place. Oil and gas industry leaders have lobbied the Trump administration to sell drilling rights in the Atlantic in addition to the existing oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. And naturally, these companies want even more, the more being drilling rights in the Arctic waters north of Alaska.

The issue is an increase in drilling also increases the risk of oil spills and water pollution. Environmentalists are very concerned about Trump's plan, but they're not alone. The prospect of drilling off the Atlantic coast has drawn bipartisan opposition from lawmakers worried about the impact on aquatic habitats as well those representing tourism-dependent states. After all, an oil spill could tar beach-side economies.

Here are some fun (read: horrifying) images to help you get the picture.