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