Obama Orders Ban Of Arctic Drilling

President Obama during his 2015 tour of Alaska. (U.S. GOVERNMENT)
President Obama during his 2015 tour of Alaska. (U.S. GOVERNMENT)

As President Obama prepares to pass the torch to Donald Trump, the soon-to-be former POTUS announced he’s prohbiting oil and gas drilling in the Alaskan Arctic.

The Alaska Dispatch News weighed in on the announcement and the impact on President-elect Trump’s agenda:

The Obama administration’s announcement came in conjunction with an announcement by the Canadian government that it would bar oil and gas licensing for all offshore Arctic waters there, though the Canadian decision will be reviewed every five years.

There will be no such built-in review of the Obama administration decision, however. Using the authority granted to the president by the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Land Act, Obama will “withdraw” from potential oil and gas leasing 125 million acres of the Arctic Ocean. That includes all of the Chukchi Sea and the majority of the Beaufort Sea.

“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,” Obama said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Obama is using executive authority that allows him to “withdraw” sections of offshore waters from oil and gas leasing, exploration and development, for a specific period or indefinitely.

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to undo much of Obama’s regulatory agenda and pursue increased U.S. oil and gas production. But it’s unclear whether or how he could undo Tuesday’s measure.