The U.S. secretary responsible for the conservation of wildlife and natural resources wants America to dominate the global energy sector and produce more oil and gas on federal land.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited Houston on Monday for the massive Offshore Technology Conference and signed secretarial orders at NRG Park to review opening more offshore areas to oil and gas drilling, including along the Atlantic Coast.
Zinke said he values not just American energy independence, but “dominance” to help create economic checks on balances on other oil-producing nations like Iran.
“Dominance is what America needs,” Zinke said, arguing he wants the Interior Department to incentivize such behavior.
“If you’re in the oil and gas and energy segment in this society, the stars have lined up,” Zinke added.
He also signed a separate order creating a new position – the counselor to the secretary for energy policy – to help coordinate such efforts.
Zinke’s actions follow up on President Trump’s executive order last week seeking to expand offshore oil and gas production through a review of the existing five-year leasing program. The effort is expected to include the collection of seismic data offshore of the Atlantic Coast for potential oil and gas drilling.