Happy Friday! Today marks the 45th anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen's first album "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J." Have a great weekend, even if you can't take month-long vacations in the stratosphere...
Let's explore the political future of the Interior Department proposal to massively expand areas made available for offshore drilling...
ICYMI: Yesterday, Interior issued a draft plan for lease sales between 2019–2024 that would open up the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and revive leasing in Arctic waters off Alaska that may contain massive hydrocarbon resources.
Thought bubble: There's been lots of initial focus on the clash between President Trump and GOP officials in Florida, Maryland and some other coastal states who opposes drilling.
But politically, this could ultimately be a feature, not a bug for Republicans. As the sweeping proposal is narrowed during the lengthy bureaucratic process for the plan and subsequent sales, these GOP officials can score political wins by having some regions kept off-limits, while the administration is still able to massively expand areas opened to drilling.
* * *
Why state power matters: Let's stay with Clearview for a moment. They predict that even if Pacific Coast lease sales remain in the plan once it's finalized, opposition from governors and communities in the region could deter industry interest because state and local officials have the power to make development very tough to pull off in practice.
Bloomberg's Jennifer Dlouhy makes a good point about another aspect of the new battle over opening massive new offshore areas to oil-and-gas exploration and production.
Be smart: The Trump administration, by putting basically all coastal waters on the table, creates a big tactical challenge for the green movement, she says.
Bottom line: It will be years before there's any way to know how much massive regulatory shift underway will have affect how much U.S. oil and gas is produced offshore, and where that production happens. The timeframe between leasing and production can be a decade or more, and as the shale boom has shown, the state of oil-and-gas markets can change massively in just a few years. So can the political winds.
Go deeper: My Axios colleague Amy Harder joined PBS NewsHour last night to talk about the new proposal. Check out the interview here.
Changed landscape: As the White House seeks to expand coastal development, the chart above shows how the Gulf of Mexico — which accounts for almost all current U.S. offshore production — is a declining share of U.S. output, thanks to the onshore shale boom.
Yes, but: While Gulf of Mexico production has been basically stagnant for around a decade amid all the onshore growth, the consultancy Wood Mackenzie said this week that they're bullish on upcoming output, predicting record hydrocarbon production in 2018 and again in 2019.
Why it matters: It's something of a "forgot about Dre" moment. Their forecast is a reminder that for all the attention this week on the administration's push to open frontier areas, the Gulf will be the epicenter of U.S. offshore action for a long time to come.
Over in the Axios stream, Amy has a new item this morning about Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee's upcoming carbon tax proposal next week. Here's some of the story...
What's happening: The state is undergoing a debate, which while unique to the Evergreen State, is also emblematic of the struggles any effort to push a federal carbon would face.
On the other hand: Amy spoke with Inslee on the sidelines of the UN climate change conference in Bonn, Germany in November. He rejected the notion that the ballot measure failed due to disagreements over how to spend the money, and expressed optimism for his push this year.
Interior moves: Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt quietly issued a secretarial order just before Christmas rescinding several Obama-era climate change and conservation policies, saying they were "inconsistent" with Trump's quest for energy independence, The Washington Post reports.
Big picture: A new blog post by Council on Foreign Relations expert Amy Myers Jaffe looks at what the protests in Iran say about wider geopolitical risks to oil output in the Middle East, and how the Trump administration should approach the topic. She zeroes in on the key question of the next White House steps on the Iran nuclear deal and sanctions.
State of the oil market today: This morning oil prices are falling off what had been the highest levels since mid-2015 earlier this week.
Aramco IPO: The Financial Times reports that "Saudi Arabia is changing the legal status of state energy giant Saudi Aramco in a sign it is pressing ahead with plans for a 2018 initial public offering that is tipped to be the biggest ever."