• Dumbshit Kneejerk Obama (Thinks he has) bans oil drilling in large area

    From Paris Accord Is A lie@21:1/5 to All on Thu Dec 22 04:00:38 2016
    XPost: alt.culture.alaska, sci.geo.petroleum, alt.politics.obama
    XPost: sac.politics

    President Obama moved to solidify his environmental legacy
    Tuesday by withdrawing hundreds of millions of acres of
    federally owned land in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean from new
    offshore oil and gas drilling.

    Obama used a little-known law called the Outer Continental Shelf
    Lands Act to protect large portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort
    seas in the Arctic and a string of canyons in the Atlantic
    stretching from Massachusetts to Virginia. In addition to a five-
    year moratorium already in place in the Atlantic, removing the
    canyons from drilling puts much of the eastern seaboard off
    limits to oil exploration even if companies develop plans to
    operate around them.

    The announcement by the White House late in the afternoon was
    coordinated with similar steps being taken by Canadian Prime
    Minister Justin Trudeau to shield large areas of that nation’s
    Arctic waters from drilling. Neither measure affects leases
    already held by oil and gas companies and drilling activity in
    state waters.

    “These actions, and Canada’s parallel actions, protect a
    sensitive and unique ecosystem that is unlike any other region
    on earth,” the White House said in a statement. “They reflect
    the scientific assessment that, even with the high safety
    standards that both our countries have put in place, 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

    White House officials described their actions to make the areas
    off limits to future oil and gas exploration and drilling as
    indefinite. Officials said the withdrawals under Section 12-A of
    the 1953 act used by presidents dating to Dwight Eisenhower
    cannot be undone by an incoming president. It is not clear if a Republican-controlled Congress can rescind Obama’s action.

    [What President Obama’s executive actions mean for President

    “There is a precedent of more than half a century of this
    authority being utilized by presidents of both parties,” a White
    House aide said. “There is no authority for subsequent
    presidents to un-withdraw. .?.?. I can’t speak to what a future
    Congress will do.”

    “The U.S. is not acting alone today. Canada is acting to put an
    indefinite stop to activity in its waters as well,” the aide
    said. “With Canada, we send a powerful signal and reinforce our
    commitment to work together.”

    David Rivkin, an attorney for the Baker and Hostetler law firm
    who served on the White House Counsel staffs of Ronald Reagan
    and George H.W. Bush, disagreed with the assertion that the
    decision cannot be overturned. “Basically I say the power to
    withdraw entails the power to un-withdraw,” Rivkin said,
    “especially if you determine the justification for the original
    withdrawal is no longer valid.”

    A legal fight would likely follow, Rivkin said. But “it’s not
    clear why Congress would want to give a president tremendous
    authority operating only one way.”

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) responded sharply on Twitter: “Yet
    another Obama abuse of power. Hopefully, on[e] that will be
    reversed…exactly one month from today” after Trump’s
    inauguration. Cruz closed his tweet with a hashtag: “Taking away
    Obama’s pen and phone.”

    U.S. and Canadian officials have negotiated for months to reach
    a joint understanding on how to manage adjacent areas in the
    ocean in an effort to make the new protections as sweeping and
    politically durable as possible. Meanwhile, advocacy groups
    lobbied Obama to ban oil and gas leasing in the Arctic entirely.

    Obama already invoked the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to
    safeguard Alaska’s Bristol Bay in 2014, and again last year to
    protect part of Alaska’s Arctic coast. The president has
    protected 125 million acres in the region in the last two years,
    according to a fact sheet issued by the White House.

    The Beaufort and Chukchi seas are habitat for several species
    listed as endangered and species that are candidates for the
    endangered species, including the bowhead whale, fin whale,
    Pacific walrus and polar bear. Concern for the animals has
    heightened as the Arctic warms faster than anywhere else in the
    world and sea ice the bears use to hunt continues to melt.

    The underwater canyons protected by the president cover nearly 4
    million acres across the Atlantic continental shelf break,
    “running from Heezen Canyon offshore New England to Norfolk
    Canyon offshore the Chesapeake Bay,” according to a separate
    fact sheet.

    They are widely recognized as major biodiversity hotspots that
    are critical to fisheries. The canyons provide deep water corals
    used by a wide array of fish. The area also provides habitat
    “for .?.?. deepwater corals, deep diving beaked whales,
    commercially valuable fishes, and significant numbers of habitat-
    forming soft and hard corals, sponges, and crabs,” the White
    House said.

    The American Petroleum Institute denounced the decision. “The
    administration’s decision to remove key Arctic and Atlantic
    offshore areas from future leasing consideration ignores
    congressional intent, our national security, and vital, good-
    paying job opportunities for our shipyards, unions, and
    businesses of all types across the country,” said Erik Milito,
    the group’s Upstream director.

    “Our national security depends on our ability to produce oil and
    natural gas here in the United States,” Milito said. “This
    proposal would take us in the wrong direction just as we have
    become world leader in production and refining of oil and
    natural gas and in reduction of carbon emissions.”

    Contradicting the White House’s statement, Milito said George W.
    Bush removed previous 12-A withdrawal areas with a memorandum
    and made all but marine sanctuaries available for leasing. “We
    are hopeful the incoming administration will reverse this
    decision as the nation continues to need a robust strategy for
    developing offshore and onshore energy,” he said.

    But a wide range of conservation groups hailed the decision.
    League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski called it
    “an incredible holiday gift,” saying that “an oil spill in these
    pristine waters would be devastating to the wildlife and people
    who live in the region.”

    Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council,
    called it “a historic victory in our fight to save our Arctic
    and Atlantic waters, marine life, coastal communities and all
    they support.” Carter Roberts, president and chief executive of
    the World Wildlife Fund, applauded what he called “a bold
    decision” that “signals some places are just too important not
    to protect.”

    Oil production in the Arctic represents a tenth of one percent
    of the nation’s oil production overall, the White House said.
    The area is so sensitive and so remote that the economics of
    exploration is costly.

    Shell, which said in September 2015 that it would shelve
    drilling plans after spending $7 billion and not finding
    significant amounts of oil, still has one remaining lease in the
    Chukchi Sea where it drilled a well earlier last year. Shell is
    also part of a joint venture with Italian oil giant ENI and
    Spanish firm Repsol in the Beaufort Sea that holds 13 leases.

    Shell held other leases in the Beaufort Sea, which the company
    transferred to the Arctic Slope Regional Corp., a company
    belonging to the Native Americans in the region.

    An earlier plan to allow limited drilling off the Atlantic coast
    was shelved after state governments along the southern Atlantic
    coasts — including Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and
    Georgia — expressed worries over the effect on their beaches,
    tourist industry and environmentally sensitive marsh.

    The Navy also objected. The Pentagon provided Interior with a
    map “that identifies locations … areas where the [Defense’s]
    offshore readiness activities are not compatible, partially
    compatible or minimally impacted by oil and gas activities,”
    department spokesman Matthew Allen said. The map included nearly
    the entire proposed drilling area.

    Live training exercises are conducted off the Atlantic coast,
    “from unit level training to major joint service and fleet
    exercises,” Allen said in a statement. “These live training
    events are fundamental to the ability of our airmen, sailors,
    and marines to attain and sustain the highest levels of military

    The Obama administration eventually closed the Atlantic to
    drilling for five years.

    President-elect Donald Trump could counter Obama’s plan with his
    own five-year plan, but even so it would be years before
    drilling could start.

    The president-elect’s authority to undo a permanent prohibition
    is unclear. But Congress, controlled by Republicans, could move
    to rescind the withdrawal of federal lands from oil and gas

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy- environment/wp/2016/12/20/president-obama-expected-to-ban-oil- drilling-in-large-areas-of-atlantic-and-arctic-

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