Before leaving U.S. President Barack Obama issued a permanent ban on offshore drilling in the US part of the Arctic Ocean.
The ban blocked drilling in federally owned land in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. The similar steps were taken by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
This will extend the current moratorium on Alaskan oil drilling and five-year offshore drilling ban - which was supposed to start in 2017 — indefinitely.
Obama used a little-known 1953 law called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, to instate the ban. It means the move that will make it difficult for President-Elect Trump's administration to reverse the decision, Arcticportal News reports.
Obama's decision has received a lot of positive feedback from environmentalists who were worried about Trump's pledge to repeal what he called "draconian climate rules" that interfered with resource development.
Those who believe Obama's ban is a bad idea argue that Trump's pro-development agenda would ultimately translate into a broad range of economic opportunities, including potentially more oil and gas development in the Arctic Ocean. More oil drilling would create jobs and support the state and municipalities, which rely on the oil and gas industry to provide jobs and revenue.
"Oil and gas is the main engine keeping our schools open and paying for services," said John Hendrix, Alaska Governor Bill Walker's Oil and Gas Advisor. Additionally, it will be more difficult to make the US completely energy independent without further oil and gas development.
Source: Arctic-Info Photo: pixabay.com