Interior Official Hails Trump for Distracting Media from Drilling Plans

HeadlineMar 15, 2019

The Trump administration is preparing to open vast areas of the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas development—and a top Interior Department official is praising President Trump’s ability to distract the media for allowing the project to proceed. Records obtained by The Guardian show Joe Balash, the assistant secretary for land and minerals management, told a recent meeting of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, “One of the things that I have found absolutely thrilling in working for this administration is the president has a knack for keeping the attention of the media and the public focused somewhere else while we do all the work that needs to be done on behalf of the American people.” The Trump administration’s Atlantic Ocean drilling plan would permit oil and gas leases in federally controlled coastal waters up to 200 nautical miles from the shore.

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