Environmentalists sue to block President Trump’s executive order on Arctic and Atlantic drilling

Environmentalists sue to block President Trump’s executive order on Arctic and Atlantic drilling

US President Donald Trump’s attempt to put vast swathes of Arctic and Atlantic waters back in play for oil and gas leasing is to be challenged in court by a battery of environmental groups, according to Bloomberg.

A lawsuit was brought in Federal court in Alaska on Wednesday by the League of Conservation Voters, the Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club and seven other groups.

Their aim is to prevent President Trump from overturning predecessor Barack Obama’s action of making those areas, amounting to most US Arctic waters and about 4 million acres of the Atlantic, off limits for drilling.

Obama used a provision of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a 1953 law, to withdraw unleased parts of the shelf from leasing. Trump’s position is based on the view that there is nothing permanent about the Obama withdrawal.

Suing parties hold that the law does not give the president the power to undo a withdrawal of leasable territory.

President Trump has already had other executive orders blocked by the courts including a proposed travel ban on people from some majority Muslim countries.

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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