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Trump launches push for more offshore drilling

An offshore production platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Julie Dermansky / Corbis via Getty Images

The Interior Department is floating draft plans that would greatly expand the coastal regions made available for oil and natural gas drilling, department officials said Thursday. The plan for lease sales between 2019-2024 would open the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and revive lease sales in Arctic waters off Alaska's coast.

Why it matters: It's a sharp reversal of Obama-era policies that keep offshore leasing almost entirely limited to the Gulf of Mexico, which currently accounts for nearly all U.S. offshore production. The proposed Atlantic and Pacific coast sales would be the first offerings in those regions in decades.