Calls for executive action to ban oil drilling leases in Atlantic and Arctic before Trump sworn in

Environmentalists on Tuesday called for US President Barack Obama to use executive authority to invoke a provision of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently ban offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic before his successor Donald Trump takes office, according to Bloomberg.

Conservationists and green groups fear that President Elect Trump’s pro energy industry and anti-regulatory stances mean exploration and production companies will be unshackled, with potentially devastating results for wildlife, the oceans, shorelines and people’s health, not to mention the climate.

Billionaire conservationist Tom Steyer, who backs the NextGen Climate Action group, supported the idea of Obama using such executive action in the remaining two months of his presidency.

But some environmentalists fear such action could provoke Republicans to overhaul the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

The Obama administration is due soon to reveal the final version of its five-year plan (2017-2022) for selling oil and gas leases. Provisional versions of the plan involve reducing auctions for drilling rights in the Atlantic.

Trump will be inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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