Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Obama Bars Arctic Drilling Ahead of Trump Inauguration

The Arctic Ocean at sunset. (Credit: NASA) Click to Enlarge.
The Obama administration on Tuesday put vast swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans off limits to oil and gas drilling to protect marine life, address climate change, and safeguard the areas from development after President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January.

At the same time, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will designate all Arctic Ocean waters under Canadian control as indefinitely off limits to future offshore oil and gas development.

The U.S. announcement bars oil and gas drilling from occurring on 3.8 million acres of U.S.-controlled waters off the East Coast and 115 million acres in the Arctic Ocean, including most of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

The Obama administration is leaving 2.8 million acres of the Beaufort Sea open to drilling.

Obama is using a 1953 law called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to protect both Atlantic and Arctic ocean waters from drilling, making it difficult for the incoming Trump administration to reverse the new protections, according to Bloomberg News.

President-elect Donald Trump has said one of his first actions as president will be to reverse as many Obama administration restrictions on oil and gas leasing and development as possible.  Many of Trump’s cabinet members — including secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil — have ties to fossil fuels industries, and most have a record of supporting nearly unfettered oil, gas and coal development.  

In a joint statement, the White House and the Canadian government said the withdrawal of those waters from future fossil fuels leasing makes good on a commitment that Trudeau and President Obama made in March to allowing only environmentally responsible commercial activity in the Arctic.

Read more at Obama Bars Arctic Drilling Ahead of Trump Inauguration

No comments:

Post a Comment