Obama Blocks Arctic And Atlantic Drilling. Will It Stick?


President Obama has taken action on arctic drilling. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

"President Barack Obama will use his executive authority to permanently block offshore drilling in large swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, the White House announced Tuesday.

Likewise, neighboring Canada will halt oil and gas exploration in its own Arctic waters, according to a joint statement from Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The move to protect the planet in the face of climate change ― just weeks before President-elect Donald Trump, who appears set on sidelining America’s climate fight, takes office ― is among Obama’s most noteworthy.

A White House official said in a call with reporters Tuesday afternoon that the president’s action recognizes the unique ecological value in these areas. The withdrawal includes 115 million acres in the Arctic and 3.8 million acres in the north and mid-Atlantic Ocean, according to the Interior Department.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement that the president had taken a “bold action” that “will help build the resilience of these vital ecosystems, provide refuges for at-risk species, sustain commercial fisheries and subsistence traditions, and create natural laboratories for scientists to monitor and explore the impacts of climate change.”

The permanent protections ― which are separate from the temporary bans announced as part of the Obama administration’s five-year oil and gas lease program ― rely on a provision of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The provision gives presidents the power to “from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer continental shelf.””*

Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-oil-drilling-artic-atlantic_us_5854174de4b08debb788952b