World Bulletin / News Desk
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that orders a review of federally designated lands.
The move aims to shift authority of designated lands from the federal government to the U.S. states, and may potentially open up drilling for oil and natural gas resources in such lands, including national monument areas.
"Today, we're putting the states back in charge," Trump said, as he signed the order at the Department of the Interior.
Trump criticized the former President Barack Obama's decision "to put over 265 million acres under federal control", and called it "an egregious abuse of federal power".
In the final weeks of his tenure, the former president designated offshore oil and natural gas drilling in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic regions "indefinitely off limits", stressing their "critical and irreplaceable ecological value".
Trump, on the other hand, emphasized Wednesday it should be the "[U.S.] states and people of those states" that should determine what areas of their lands should be preserved or opened for development.