Obama Blocks Offshore Driling In Arctic, Atlantic Oceans

 

In a move that will likely be overturned promptly by the administration of Donald Trump, president Obama on Tuesday formally blocked offshore oil and gas drilling in most of the Atlantic and Arctic Ocean, responding to a call from environmentalists who say the government needs to do more to prevent drilling in environmentally sensitive areas of U.S.-controlled oceans.

The president had been expected to take the action by invoking a provision in a 1953 law that governs Outer Continental Shelf offshore leases, and he did just that to block drilling in federal waters in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea and most of its Beaufort Sea. He also protected 21 underwater canyons in the Atlantic Ocean from drilling. Furthermore, Canada will block drilling in all of its Arctic Ocean acreage, a moratorium officials will review every five years, the White House said. Continue reading

Russia Announces Military Plans for Disputed Kuril Islands

Russia’s defense minister says Moscow plans to build a military base on the Kuril Islands, along with four Arctic bases that should be completed by 2018.

Shoigu said Russia has nearly completed several new bases with the largest on Kotelny Island in the Novosibirsk Archipelago. Continue reading

The solution to US debt? Sell Alaska

Maybe what Russian professor Igor Panarin had to say quite a few years ago, although off on the timing, might slowly be coming to fruition.

The prospect of once again hitting the federal debt ceiling has provoked the ritual round of hand-wringing about the intractable nature of this $US16 trillion conundrum. But there is a simple, elegant option that involves no tax increases, no spending cuts and just a bit of imagination.

Sell Alaska.

That’s right. Put the entire state – from Juneau to Deadhorse, from the Bering Strait to the Beaufort Sea – on the auction block.

Absurd? No more absurd than the spectacle taking place right now as we skid closer to the fiscal cliff. Continue reading