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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

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Aug 6, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coronavirus hastens Big Oil's Atlantic divide on climate change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The pandemic is accelerating a divide between European and American oil companies over climate change and clean energy.

Why it matters: Bottom lines and investor returns will be vastly different across the corporate spectrum depending on how aggressively the world tackles climate change in the coming decades.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.