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Trump Executive Order Alaska Oil Outer-shelf UNLAWFUL

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Posted on April 01 2019

Executive Order No 13795


April 28, 2017 Signed


Now naturally you’d expect that the current “so called” Presidential Administration would, I don’t know may go one day without breaking the freaking law? Is it really to much to expect the current administration to adhere to the laws that govern records of the current Administrations? No really it’s exhausting that clearly the Trump Administration does what they want, when they want and how they want statutory authority be damned.


I should probably say, I’m not a granola crunching, Birkenstock wearing, organic coffee consuming hippie liberal. Yes I drive a hybrid but that’s mainly due to the fact I was tired of paying >$80 every three days for ultra-premium gasoline, just to keep my fancy German car happy. That performance car was so high maintenance and had entirely way too much horsepower for me. Ergo my vast criminal record of speeding tickets, gasp clutching my non-doxxing pearls. I think in a single month, I racked up three speeding tickets. Book’m Dan-O. However if me giving a shit about clean water, clean air and clean shorelines some how makes me a “libtard”, I guess I’m guilty. Although most people just call that bring mindful to Climate Change and the desire to give future generations a better planet.

I am old enough to remember the Exxon Valdez. Which dumped some 11+million gallons in of oil in to Alaska’s Prince William Sound and ultimately that Oil made its way into the Ocean. It has been over theee decades and the wildlife is still trying to bounce back. You might find today’s article a worthwhile read especially for the context and content of this entry:



 What you may not be familiar with OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS (OCSLA) it is in fact law, as in it was codified in 1953: 43 U.S.C. § 1331 et seq, this GPO link will take you to the statutory language. OSCLA has been amended numerous times. 


which reads in part:


Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), the subsoil and seabed of the outer continental shelf belong to the United States and “are subject to its jurisdiction, control, and power of disposition . . . .” (43 U.S.C. § 1332(1)). ‘Outer continental shelf’ is defined under OCSLA as “all submerged lands lying seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters . . . and of which the subsoil and seabed appertain to the United States . . . .” (43 U.S.C. § 1331(a)).


Powers granted to the Secretary of Interior:

Under the OCSLA, the Secretary of the Interior is responsible for the administration of mineral exploration and the development of the OCS. The Act empowers the Secretary to grant leases to the highest qualified responsible bidder on the basis of sealed competitive bids and to formulate regulations as necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act. The Act, as amended, provides guidelines for implementing an OCS oil and gas exploration and development program.


OSCLA has been amended numerous times. Most recently in 2005 via the Energy Policy Act of 2005,, found here, it’s a 551 page law. I know that reading hundreds of pages of legalese might not be ideal, so I’ve taken the liberty of pulling down the  the summary of the OSCLA’s 2005 amendment, found below:


“...the establishment of an oil spill liability fund and the distribution of a portion of the receipts from the leasing of mineral resources of the OCS to coastal states. In addition, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended OCSLA Section 8 to give jurisdiction of alternate energy-related uses (including renewable energy projects) on the outer continental shelf to the Department of the Interior.”


Creation of BOEM from the Reorganization of Minerals Management Service (MMS) for historical context, in 1982, Congress passed the Federal Oil & Gas Royalty Management Act (FOGRMA).

It was codified as PUBLIC LAW 97-451—JAN. 12,1983:

To ensure that all oil and gas originated on the public lands and on the Outer Continental Shelf are properly accounted for under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, and for other purposes....mandates protection of the environment and conservation of federal lands in the course of building oil and gas facilities.

The Secretary of the Interior designated the MMS as the administrative agency responsible for the mineral leasing of submerged OCS lands and for the supervision of offshore operations after lease issuance. On May 19, 2010, MMS was renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE). On October 1, 2010, the Office of Natural Resource Revenues (ONRR) split from BOEMRE, and on October 1, 2011, BOEMRE was divided into BOEM and BSEE. See the Reorganization page for more information.


This BOEM link will take you to the main page and it has a ton of research documents, reports, process etc. I would definitely bookmark this page. The 2017 update is somewhat buried in a lot of text:


Under the OCSLA, BOEM implements an OCS oil and gas exploration and development program that provides the nation, as of March 2017, with 18 percent of its domestic oil production and 4 percent of its domestic natural gas production


The main reason I linked to the various statutory language is it’s law. Which now brings us to Trump’s Executive Order No 13795. Trump truly does not have a competent policy policy advisor advising him and every time the Judiciary bench slaps the taste out of Trump’s filthy greedy fugly calorie hole. He never thinks things through, he either lacks the intellect and intelligence or he simply doesn’t give a shit. Ergo his administration is a shithole administration making shitty decisions and costing tax payers millions of dollars in unnecessary litigation expense. But then again what did you expect by “voting” for a mobbed up vexatious litigant? No really Roy Cohn taught young Donald how to really mob. At any rate I digress.

You can not find his EO on the White House website (even though by law it should be there), instead you have to go to the Federal Register, found here. Trump’s Executive Order reads in part...sorry I can’t help but literally laugh out loud at Trump’s temerity and audacity that he really thought his pathetic Executive Order would some how supersede actual laws...his actual lack of substantive “planning” and “execution” of said plans is just breathtakingly amateur, I almost feel bad for Trump, he is not a policy wonk and he clearly has some of the most servile inept advisors that are out of their intellectual league. 


Sec 2. Policy It shall be the policy of the United States to encourage energy exploration and production, including on the Outer Continental Shelf, in order to maintain the Nation’s position as a global energy leader and foster energy security and resilience for the benefit of the American people, while ensuring that any such activity is safe and environmentally responsible.


Trump’s entire executive Order is less than 3 pages long. It’s almost adorable how inept this administration is, almost...the main point of contention in the Federal Lawsuit filed is Section 5 of Trump’s Executive Order 13985, which reads in part:


 5. Modification of the Withdrawal of Areas of the Outer Continental Shelf from Leasing Disposition. The body text in each of the memoranda of withdrawal from disposition by leasing of the United States Outer Conti- nental Shelf issued on December 20, 2016, January 27, 2015, and July 14, 2008, is modified to read, in its entirety, as follows:

‘‘Under the authority vested in me as President of the United States, including section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1341(a), I hereby withdraw from disposition by leasing, for a time period without specific expiration, those areas of the Outer Continental Shelf des- ignated as of July 14, 2008, as Marine Sanctuaries under the Marine Protec- tion, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, 16 U.S.C. 1431–1434, 33 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.’’


Have I mentioned that Zinke’s replacement is worse than Zinke (who’s probably still freaking out over the DC Grand Jury...oh shittlestixs)


And then let the lawsuits begin. At this point I’ve actually lost count of how many lawsuits the Trump Administration has had to defend. No really it’s a lot. But more sobering is the American Petroleum Institute and the State of Alaska intervening in case no:  3:17-cv-00101-SLG


The Court held that the Trump administration had in fact exceeded its authority when issuing Executive Order 13985. The Court heavily relied on the plain text of Section 12 (a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, (OSCLA) which clearly states:,


"The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf."


The Court held that the aforementioned section of OSCLA, grants the President to “remove certain lands from development” and that  only Congress had the statutory authority to revoke and/or rescind withdrawals.

Earthjustice President Abigail Dillen statement on Judge Gleason’s ruling: 

“This ruling tosses out President Trump’s unlawful order, reinstates protections for the Arctic Ocean and key areas in the Atlantic and reaffirms that President Trump is not above the law. The decision will force the Trump administration and acting Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt to reconsider their irresponsible national offshore leasing program that would turn our oceans into gas stations. It will also support the fight to oppose this administration’s ongoing attempts to roll back national monuments.”


The Court’s ruling means that we;l over 120 million acres of federal waters, including significant  parts of the Arctic Ocean and dozens of canyons in the Atlantic Ocean, will remain protected, for now. But I would expect the Trump Administration to file an Appeal and whine that it will be in the 9thCCOAs. Although the fact that Trump did not have his “reality TV” camera sighing ceremony and deleted the Executive Order from the White House Website tells me, perhaps common sense can and will prevail. Hope Springs Eternal, right? xo SpicyFiles 



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1 comment

  • Brigid Berry: April 03, 2019

    As always, thanks Spicy! This was great news to read and you make it easy for us to understand!

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