Trump Is Expected to Sign Orders That Could Expand Access to Fossil Fuels

The reality is more complicated, experts in the law, policy and economics of energy said. The orders are not likely to lead either to significant new energy development or to job creation in the near future. With oil prices around $50 a barrel and production already glutting world markets, few oil companies are making plans to expand into costlier, riskier offshore drilling.

And the process of undoing Obama-era regulations will take more than a flick of Mr. Trump’s pen. The legal challenges that the orders will face could take years to resolve. And without additional action from Congress, they could be reversed by Mr. Trump’s successor.

“You don’t create jobs by signing a piece of paper if those jobs rely on a combination of economics and technology that the president doesn’t control,” said Kevin Book, a managing director at ClearView Energy Partners, a Washington analysis firm.

That does not mean that both sides of the energy production debate are shrugging off the president’s moves. Oil and gas companies and Mr. Trump’s political supporters are cheering, even as they concede that this week’s signing ceremonies will not produce new oil rigs in the next few years.

Environmental groups warn that just opening the door to future drilling in pristine federal lands and waters could lead to more disasters like the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which sent millions of barrels of oil to the shorelines of coastal states, killing wildlife and destroying fragile ecosystems.

“These might not necessarily result in near-term oil and gas production, but it could expand our opportunities in the future,” said Erik Milito, the director of upstream issues for the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies for oil companies.

Jacqueline Savitz, a vice president of Oceana, which campaigns aggressively against the drilling, declared, “Offshore drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic is still dirty and dangerous.”

“The Arctic is the most dangerous place you can be drilling offshore: It’s dark, icy and far away from disaster response teams,” she said.

Environmentalists were no more receptive to the review of the Antiquities Act.

“It is clear that this ‘review’ is a thinly veiled attempt to appease special interests and sell off our national parks, public lands, oceans and cultural heritage to the highest bidder,” said Christy Goldfuss, vice president of energy and environment policy at the liberal Center for American Progress and a former environmental policy official in the Obama White House.

She added: “Our monuments — from the Grand Canyon to Zion to Papahanaumokuakea and Stonewall National Monument — are majestic, historic and uniquely American. No…

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