The state of Louisiana might see an increase in energy jobs. The energy sector got good news on Thursday from President Trump, who announced a plan to open up more of the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling operations.

According to a press release from Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, The Department of the Interior is taking steps to responsibly develop the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program). This would make over 90 percent of the total OCS acreage and more than 98 percent of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in federal offshore areas available for future exploration and development. The program also proposes the largest number of lease sales in U.S. history.

At present time, approximately 94 percent of the OCS off limits to drilling and exploration by oil and gas companies.

“Responsibly developing our energy resources on the Outer Continental Shelf in a safe and well-regulated way is important to our economy and energy security, and it provides billions of dollars to fund the conservation of our coastlines, public lands and parks,” said Secretary Zinke. “Today’s announcement lays out the options that are on the table and starts a lengthy and robust public comment period. Just like with mining, not all areas are appropriate for offshore drilling, and we will take that into consideration in the coming weeks. The important thing is we strike the right balance to protect our coasts and people while still powering America and achieving American Energy Dominance”

Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson has been a proponent of the expansion of offshore drilling. Last year, the Congressman was one of 155 members of congress who sent a letter to the Department of the Interior to advocate for the new plan.

Congressman Johnson had the following to say about the new plan.

“The Trump administration’s decision to allow enhanced exploration, leasing and development within the Outer Continental Shelf, previously closed to such activities, prioritizes home-grown energy production and puts the United States one step closer to achieving energy dominance. I look forward to the many benefits Louisiana and other coastal states will see from this all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

Work on the Outer Continental Shelf is expected to being in 2019.