President Trump is expected to sign two executive orders this week aimed at increasing offshore drilling and reassessing former President Barack Obama's decisions to designate several national monuments.
Trump plans to issue the energy and public land orders in the leadup to the end of his first 100 days in office April 30, according to reports.
The Executive Order for a Review of Designations under the Antiquities Act will call for a review of how past presidents have used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to declare federal lands as national monuments, a summary of the order obtained by the Washington Examiner read.
"Past administrations have overused this power and designated large swaths of land well beyond the areas in need of protection," according to the summary. "The Antiquities Act Executive Order directs the Department of the Interior to review prior monument designations and suggest legislative changes or modifications to the monument proclamations."
A number of states have called for Obama's last-minute monument designations to be repealed. Although the order would not repeal them outright, it would begin the process for their reconsideration.
The executive order on offshore oil and natural gas drilling, called the Executive Order Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, directs the Interior Department to begin a review of restrictive drilling policies for the outer-continental shelf. "Past administrations have been overly restrictive of off-shore energy exploration," according to a summary of the order. "The America First Energy Executive Order directs a review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration and of certain regulations governing off-shore oil and gas exploration."
The Obama administration had restricted offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic in its final five-year leasing program that begins this year. The drilling program decision was opposed as a step in the wrong direction by the industry, which has prodded the Trump administration to redo the plan.
The executive order on the monument designations is expected Wednesday, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. The newspaper cited a senior White House official that said it will direct Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the last 21 years of monument designations using the century-old law that allows the administration to make a monument determinations with the approval of Congress.
Utah has been looking for at least a scaling back of two monuments in its state: the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Former Democratic President Bill Clinton created the Grand Staircase monument in the 1990s, and Obama created the Bear Ears National Monument in the waning days of his administration.
Both designations have caused pushback from top Republicans from the state, including Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has been confident that Trump would roll back the decisions. However, the order is not supposed to rescind the decisions, but will start a review process to see if either president over-extended his authority under the law.