While President Barack Obama has been publicly claiming that he wants to help President-elect Donald J. Trump in any way he can before he takes office in January, behind the scenes the outgoing president is doing just the opposite.
For months, environmentalists have been urging President Barack Obama to use Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a 1953 law governing offshore drilling, in a way it’s never been used before — to block offshore drilling leases in the Atlantic Ocean and the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.
Two people told Bloomberg’s Jennifer Dlouhy the decision could be announced as soon as Tuesday.
Dlouhy reports that environmental lawyers “have been laying the groundwork for Obama’s decision by circulating memos on the legal strategy” and claiming oil spills would hurt wildlife and tourism.
Far-left environmental activists like billionaire Tom Steyer have been pushing the Obama administration to ban drilling in areas like the arctic, and it appears as though the White House will cave to environmentalists, even if it means hurting America’s economy.
The left believes that if Obama does ban Arctic drilling, it would be extremely difficult for President-elect Trump to rescind such an order:
Presidents have modified past designations, but no one has ever completely undone them.
Environmentalists hope it would take years for Trump or Congress to repeal an Obama decision to permanently keep Arctic and Atlantic areas off limits to drilling.
The Obama administration has already stripped Arctic and Atlantic lease sales from its proposed five-year offshore drilling plan, but using the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act would prevent them from being considered in future plans altogether.
On the issue of energy, Trump and Obama couldn’t be further apart. President-elect Trump has promised to expand oil drilling across the country, including the Arctic, arguing that such an increase in domestic oil production would reduce America’s dependency on Middle East oil.
The American public support expanded domestic oil drilling, and Obama’s plan to ban Arctic drilling is simply capitulating to the environmental lobby, with little concern for the general public.