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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

It would be easy to feel some whiplash over recent Trump administration moves on oil-and-gas industry access — or lack thereof — to areas currently off-limits.

Driving the news: Trump used a Tuesday stop in Florida — a swing state with a huge electoral vote bounty — to announce an order that keeps the eastern Gulf of Mexico off-limits through 2032.

  • Florida's East Coast is a no-go zone too.
  • The same order — reversing earlier administration plans — also bars leasing off the Atlantic shores of Georgia and South Carolina.

The intrigue: The move comes roughly three weeks after the administration touted its plans under a 2017 law to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

  • It's an area where industry interest in expensive, remote projects could prove tepid.
  • Yet the eastern Gulf, adjacent to the heart of the U.S. offshore drilling industry in Louisiana and Texas, has long been coveted by the sector.
  • Oil industry groups, in a somewhat rare split with Trump, yesterday criticized the decision.
  • The politics of Florida drilling have been dicey for decades though amid bipartisan opposition there.

What they're saying: "In our view, the Eastern GOM may have represented the single biggest target of opportunity for offshore drillers," the research firm ClearView Energy Partners said in a note.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 4, 2020 - Energy & Environment

A look at Texas' energy complexities

Data: EIA; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Texas went fairly comfortably red again, but it looked quite close for a while, and so now seems as good a time as any to look at the state's energy as well as political complexities.

The intrigue: Texas is increasingly no longer seen as only the oil patch, and it's a fascinating state to watch. That's especially the case at a time when the future of oil demand remains a question mark and more and more countries are vowing new steps on climate — regardless of U.S. policy.

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.