Obama Bans Offshore Drilling in the Arctic:

Claire Weiss | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Arctic oil drilling. Photo credit: arcticjournal.com

According to Washington post:

On November 18th Obama administration banned offshore drilling in the Arctic, setting a likely collision course with President-elect Donald Trump, who has vowed to “unleash” new energy production in the United States by rolling back restrictions on oil and gas companies.

This means that for the next five years Arctic offshore is removed from  Lease Sale Schedule .

In response to Obama administration decision to remove America’s Arctic from the Department of the Interior’s five-year offshore drilling plan, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from President and CEO Carter Roberts:  

The Arctic remains one of our country’s most magnificent and fragile landscapes. It’s home to some of the oldest remaining indigenous cultures and our most cherished species and places. We need to be smart about how we manage Arctic resources to ensure we safeguard the incredible richness of this place.

We know there is no way to clean up oil once it enters the frozen waters of the Arctic. We know there is no proven technology to drill safely in that region.

We applaud the president’s action. We know it is only a temporary reprieve and we hope that more permanent measures will follow.


Arctic waters. Photo credit: inhabitat.com


No president in 35 years has made as sweeping a conservation proposal as President Barack Obama did last Friday by urging  Congress to transform the oil-laden coastal plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge into what would be the largest wilderness area in the nation’s history.

Polar bear. Photo credit: National Geographic.


Environmentalists have already made a lots of attempts to urge president to ban the drilling, especially recently in the light of the president elections.

According to Tom Steyer, NextGen:

“The Trump administration has the potential to do serious damage to our climate — but in the last few months of his presidency, President Obama can take concrete steps to secure his environmental legacy. We will continue to support bold action by President Obama to fight for our families, and we will keep pushing back against Trump’s dark vision and dangerous plans for our country.”

Although, drilling ban in Arctic is a great move, but it still leaves The Gulf of Mexico vulnerable. The plan announced on Friday blocks the planned sale of new oil and gas drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska, but it allows drilling to go forward in Alaska’s Cook Inlet southwest of Anchorage. Besides Cook Inlet, the plan also allows drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, long the center of U.S. offshore oil production. Ten of the 11 lease sales proposed in the five-year plan are in the Gulf, mostly off the coasts of Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Alabama.

Although, Congress seems to be not happy about this decision. According to Bloomberg:

Congressional leaders joined industry groups in blasting the plan, with Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, saying she was “infuriated” that Obama had disregarded the Arctic’s potential for new jobs, revenue and oil supply.  Randall Luthi, a former drilling regulator who heads the National Ocean Industries Association, called the move “a short-sighed political decision that threatens U.S. energy security” and “a slap in the face” of consumers.

So, if it’s right or wrong, it is not an easy question.. We all need energy for living as well as to produce things, but we definitely need and we should to protect fragile landscapes and nature. We need to take care of the planet where we live.


Arctic seal. Photo credit: nathab.com



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