U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal to open nearly all federal waters to offshore drilling has fired up many Democrats and could very well backfire in upcoming congressional elections, according to an expert.
“This just juices up the Democratic base,” Peter Trubowitz, professor of international relations and director of the United States Center at the London School of Economics, told CNBC on Friday.
Trump’s plan, presented by the Department of the Interior in a draft proposal on Thursday, would offer offshore blocks to oil and gas drillers in practically the entire U.S. outer continental shelf, opening the door to drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The drilling proposal has triggered significant opposition from Democratic leaders and environmentalists in particular, but has garnered Republican criticism as well.
Governor Rick Scott of Florida and Larry Hogan of Maryland, both Republicans, have urged Trump to remove their states from consideration. Hogan vowed to oppose the plan “to the fullest extent that is legally possible.”
Additionally, more than 60 environmental groups have denounced the plan. Many industry groups, meanwhile, are praising the decision.