Interior official champions offshore drilling access

The Department of the Interior intends to have more of a say in the creation of marine sanctuaries and other federal protections that place underwater drilling off limits for oil companies, said Kate MacGregor, the new assistant secretary for land and minerals management.

Donald Trump’s administration has already taken steps to open up offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic. On Wednesday, MacGregor said she hopes the department will ease the onslaught of regulations placed on the industry during the Obama administration.

“We are looking for a more positive experience here,” MacGregor said.

MacGregor spoke Wednesday morning at the Offshore Technology Conference at NRG Park, where thousands of oil and gas professionals have gathering for the industry’s yearly summit. MacGregor’s talk came two days after her boss, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, addressed the conference on policy changes that would make more public lands available for drilling.