US and Canada ban offshore drilling in the Arctic

US president Barack Obama and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau have designated the bulk of U.S. and Canada owned waters in the Arctic Ocean as indefinitely off limits for Arctic drilling.

“Today, President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau are proud to launch actions ensuring a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem, with low-impact shipping, science based management of marine resources, and free from the future risks of offshore oil and gas activity,” the statement read.

Russian-operated drilling in the Arctic. Image credits: Krichevsky.

The move adds a finishing touch to Obama’s environmental legacy, one which president-elect Donald Trump has sworn to undo. However, environmental groups hope that this decision will be hard to overcome by future presidents. The move is expected to raise the income of local people.

“This decision will help protect existing lucrative coastal tourism and fishing businesses from offshore drilling, which promises smaller, short-lived returns and threatens coastal livelihoods,” said Jacqueline Savitz, a senior vice-president at the advocacy group, Oceana.

However, oil industry officials have protested the move, arguing that it undermines America’s position as an energy leader.

“Instead of building on our nation’s position as a global energy leader, today’s unilateral mandate could put America back on a path of energy dependence for decades to come,” said Dan Naatz of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.


2 thoughts on “US and Canada ban offshore drilling in the Arctic

  1. Brian

    What we need to do is stop all gov breaks for new fossil development. It's nuts that after 100 years of gov fossil help, they still needed. These are the riches companies on earth.

    According the IMF, fossils get 5.3T$ per year in gov breaks, not including wars.

    We can stop all new fossils development cold right now, and make all new energy investments in solar, wind and waste to fuels. That will save us money. solar and wind available the cheapest BEFORE gov breaks.

    We need to phase out production fossils breaks as we replace it with renewable over the next 15 years.

    Solar and wind have doubled every 1.8 and 3.2 years over the past ten years. From 200GWp and 400 GWp in 2015, it's only 15 years till solar and wind are producing more energy than the world uses now. (that's end use, not thermal/primary energy).. Solar and wind are now the majority of all new power installs globally.
    Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels

    I would also point out that most Trump and GOP voters are for more solar and wind than for fossils or nuclear. They are also 5 times more likely to install solar in CA and twice as likely nationally.

    It's cheaper now, and not subject to variations in the next 30-40 years.

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