U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed two secretarial orders relating to offshore energy development at this week’s Offshore Technology Conference (#OTC2017) in Houston. 

The first order, Secretarial Order 3550, implements President Donald Trump’s Executive Order signed last Friday and directs the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to develop a new five-year plan for oil and gas exploration in offshore waters. The order calls for full consideration to be given to leasing the OCS offshore Alaska, mid- and south-Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico. It also directs BOEM to work with the Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service to expedite authorization requests for seismic surveys, particularly for new or resubmitted permitting applications in the Atlantic to understand the extent of America's energy potential. 

The Secretary's order directs prompt completion of the Notice to Lessees No. 2016-N01 dated September 12, 2016 and ceases all activities to promulgate the proposed "Offshore Air Quality Control, Reporting, and Compliance Rule." It also directs BOEM and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to review a host of other rules and report progress within 21 days.

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