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.