Obama Blocks Drilling Off west coast, Arctic Waters In Last Month Of Presidency
As President Barack Obama nears the top of his second term, he issued a new drilling plan to restrict oil and gas extraction activities off 2 american shores: the waters of the Arctic close to alaska and therefore the pacific coast of california, Washington, and Oregon.
The Department of Interior’s 2017-2022 leasing arrange blocks drilling activities within the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas close to northern alaska, whereas limiting petroleum development on the Cook Islands, in keeping with Reuters.
Environmentalists had been concerned that an oil and gas presence within the area would jeopardize the lives of endangered whales also as walruses and seals.
According to the inside Department, the “balanced” drilling arrange still leaves around 70 % of the United States’ recoverable offshore reserves open for business. The available sites are situated mostly within the Gulf of mexico, that saw a six-month moratorium on drilling in 2010 once the 5 million-barrel BP spill.
The natural disaster caused environmental regulators to make stricter rules to operate within the Gulf, that the U.S. shares with its southern neighbor.
President-elect Donald Trump, who can assume workplace in january, promised throughout his campaign to create the country energy independent by opening up previously protected public lands and waters to oil and gas interests.
A needed 60-day comment amount following the publication of the arrange can finish before Obama’s term formally ends next year. once the five-year arrange becomes official, altering it'll be complicated as a result of it'll trigger a series of public hearings, studies and federal law analyses.
California’s coastline has been an object of oil and gas interest for many years, however the state’s robust Democratic institutions have blocked the construction of any new offshore drilling platforms for over 30 years.
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the new drilling plan’s exclusion of western waters “is in line with the long-standing position of the pacific coast states con to oil and gas development off their coasts.”