President Obama just made a huge move to protect the environment and permanently ban oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. And he did it ahead of the inauguration without using Executive Orders, making it extremely difficult for Trump to undo.
Still working hard for the American people and the planet, POTUS is taking some great actions ahead of Trump’s inauguration. On Tuesday, President Obama moved to indefinitely ban drilling in most of the Arctic and parts of the Atlantic Ocean.
Obama is taking the actions by invoking a provision in a 1953 law that governs offshore leases.
Provision 12(a) of the law states, “The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.”
“The law allows a president to withdraw any currently unleased lands in the Outer Continental Shelf from future lease sales. There is no provision in the law that allows the executive’s successor to repeal the decision, so President-elect Donald Trump would not be able to easily brush aside the action.”
Tuesday’s announcement was made in partnership with Canada. Our northern neighbors are putting a five year moratorium on new leases for oil or gas in Canada’a Arctic waters.
“These actions, and Canada’s parallel actions, protect a sensitive and unique ecosystem that is unlike any other region on earth. They reflect the scientific assessment that, even with the high safety standards that both our countries have put in place, the risks of an oil spill in this region are significant and our ability to clean up from a spill in the region’s harsh conditions is limited.”
Environmentalists are praising the move. The president of the League of Conservation Voters, Gene Karpinski said,
“The Arctic Ocean is ground zero for the impacts of climate change, and any oil production there would be decades away and inconsistent with addressing climate change before it is too late.”
And about Obama’s actions on Tuesday, Karpinski said,
“What an incredible holiday gift to all who want to protect the fragile and iconic Arctic Ocean ecosystem and fight climate change. An oil spill in these pristine waters would be devastating to the wildlife and people who live in the region.”
“This is a remarkable moment of US-Canadian leadership in protecting our shared resources. After years of engagement in the Arctic, President Obama has secured more than 115 million acres of ocean in one of the most magnificent regions on Earth – home to the culture and tradition of our indigenous communities, as well as walrus, whales, and seascapes unique in all the world.”