Greenpeace & Rebecca Hersher / National Public Radio & Kristin Brown / League of Conservation Voters – 2016-11-22 23:31:42
ACTION ALERT: Obama Bans Arctic Oil Drilling!
(November 18, 2016) — Wow! Millions of you asked President Obama to stop new drilling in the Arctic Ocean, and today, he listened.
The Obama administration just released its final plan on where fossil fuel companies will be allowed to start new drilling for the next five years. Earlier this year we got the good news that the Atlantic Ocean would not be leased to fossil fuel companies â€” and today, we can say the same for the U.S. Arctic Ocean. YOU helped make this Arctic victory possible, Gar!
We celebrate with Alaskaâ€™s Arctic communities in this decision. Now we need to stand with the communities of the Gulf coast â€” communities still facing the devastation of the BP oil disaster, and who are on the frontlines of climate change as seas rise and extreme weather hits our shores. Itâ€™s time we protect all our U.S. waters from the disaster of offshore drilling and to move toward no new leases anywhere.
It was YOUR voice and support that made a difference for the Arctic! Send President Obama a thank you for his Arctic leadership, and ask him to keep fossil fuel companies out of ALL our public lands and waters, including the Gulf.
President Obamaâ€™s decision today shows when you raise your voice, you can be heard and make a change. This is a huge victory for the Arctic communities and wildlife who are already living under the effects of climate change and would have been devastated by a spill in icy Arctic waters.
But unfortunately, the Gulf of Mexico is still being offered up to fossil fuel companies. And with President-elect Trump planning on appointing a climate denier to the Environmental Protection Agency, President Obama needs to use his power to protect ALL our public lands and waters before leaving office.
Tell President Obama we cannot afford more drilling in the Gulf or ANY of our public lands and waters — especially with President-elect Trump and his climate-denying friends on the way. â€¨
President Obama wants to leave a good climate legacy.
Now is his chance to make a truly epic difference before he leaves office.
To act, sign here.
For the climate,
Mary Sweeters, Arctic Campaigner, Greenpeace USA
P.S. Many supporters have reached out and asked if President-elect Trump could rip up these protections and open the Arctic Ocean up again for more oil drilling. We expect he’ll try — but it could take years and he’ll have a HUGE fight on his hands. Help us gear up for this and the many other environmental fights ahead of us by donating to Greenpeace today.
Thank you for listening to the thousands who asked you to remove the Arctic from your five-year fossil fuel leasing plan. This is a critical decision for Alaska’s coastal communities, for the vulnerable Arctic Ocean ecosystem, and for the climate.
However, I am bitterly disappointed that you are allowing new fossil fuel drilling in Gulf waters. With your successor poised to promote a climate-denier to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, now is the time to take PERMANENT climate action.
As the fight to protect the planet continues, I am calling on you to cement your legacy as a world leader on climate change by stopping ALL new fossil fuel extraction from our public lands and waters.
As you said when you rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, “we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground.” I couldn’t agree more. Fossil fuel projects threaten communities with spills, pollutions, and risks to livelihoods — and if we want a safe climate we need to stop drilling and mining, keeping at least 80% of remaining fossil fuels in the ground.
The first place to start is our precious public lands and waters. New oil and gas sales would expand known reserves of fossil fuels, which would clearly fail to harmonize our energy policy with climate science.
No New Federal Oil And Gas Leases
In The Arctic Ocean For The Next Five Years
Rebecca Hersher / National Public Radio
(November 18, 2016) — The Obama Administration has removed the Arctic Ocean from any new offshore oil and gas leasing for the next five years.
The plan was announced by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, part of the Department of the Interior, and includes 11 approved lease areas to be sold between 2017 and 2022. In all, it makes available about 70 percent of the offshore oil and gas resources that are “economically recoverable” if oil remains around $40 per barrel.
Two previously considered areas in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas north of Alaska were not included in the final plan.
The president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Rhea Suh, called the decision “a significant milestone in protecting the fragile Arctic Ocean and limiting climate change.”
Rachel Waldholtz of Alaska Public Media reported for NPR’s Newscast Unit:
“The announcement has been anticipated and dreaded in Alaska, where environmentalists argued that drilling in the Arctic Ocean makes no sense because of the potential impact on climate change and the dangers of a major oil spill, while the oil and gas industry and some Alaska Native groups have pushed to keep the region open to development. The administration’s decision was blasted by Alaska’s congressional delegation and governor.”
“For nearly eight years this Administration has given lip service to an ‘all of the above energy strategy,’ when their actions say the opposite,” said Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan in a statement.
The plan does not shut down all new offshore drilling around Alaska. One of the 11 newly approved federal lease areas is in the Cook Inlet south of the state, and the state government controls rights within 3 nautical miles of land, meaning they can approve new leases within that area without federal approval.
In October, Caelus Energy announced it had made “a significant light oil discovery on its Smith Bay state leases on the North Slope of Alaska.”
Shiva Polefka of the Center for American Progress’s Ocean Policy Program says the decision to exclude the Arctic Ocean sites from the federal plan was “not particularly surprising” because exploring and drilling in the Arctic is “extra risky” for companies.
“It’s more isolated, it’s more expensive oil, and at a time when oil prices are low, the economic reward is very slim,” he said.
Last year, Shell announced it would stop exploration off the coast of Alaska “for the foreseeable future,” after spending $7 billion there, as NPR’s Jackie Northam reported.
Although the new five-year plan was announced today, it will not go into effect until after a 60-day congressional review period, according to the text of the plan. That review period ends shortly before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.
In October, Trump released a plan for his first 100 days in office in which he said, “I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.”
During the campaign, he said he would lift drilling restrictions offshore, as the State Impact project has reported.
But if the Trump administration decides to reopen the plan in order to add Arctic lease areas, “that gets very complicated very quickly,” Polefka told NPR. “Doing so would require redoing all that scoping and environmental analysis, which took years to complete.”
Changing the plan could also jeopardize or put on hold the leases in the Gulf of Mexico, he said, if, for example, environmental groups sue the government over elements of the environmental review process.
ACTION ALERT: Arctic and Atlantic Offshore Drilling
Is Off the Table . . . but Not Forever
We need permanent protection before Trump takes office
Kristin Brown / League of Conservation Voters
(November 19 2016) — President Obama just finalized the offshore drilling plan for the next five years, and Atlantic AND Arctic drilling are both off the table!
LCV Members like you fought tooth and nail over the last year to protect these oceans, and President Obama listened. But the fight is not over. We need to save our shores — FOREVER.
These protections only exist for the next five-years, and they are almost certainly going to be challenged by President-elect Trump. He could not only put drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic back in the mix, but expand drilling beyond.
We need PERMANENT protection for the Arctic and Atlantic, and we need it now, before Trump takes office.
Between Trumpâ€™s administration — which could include names like Sarah â€œDrill, Baby, Drillâ€ Palin and Big Oil billionaire Howard Hamm — and a Congress controlled by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, it looks increasingly likely that Big Polluters will have free rein over our environment . . . unless we stop them.
President Obama has the authority to establish permanent protections for the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. He can safeguard our climate and our coastal communities and bring America one step closer to a clean energy future. But he must act now.
President Obama has taken historic action to address climate change. And heâ€™s protected more lands and waters than any president in history. Now he has an opportunity to further cement his environmental legacy by taking the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans off the table for offshore drilling forever.
For the last year, LCV members have joined our state partners, coastal residents, businesses, and elected officials in saying no to new offshore drilling. We can accomplish permanent protections for the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, but only with you on our side.
Please, tell President Obama to permanently protect
the Arctic and the Atlantic from Big Oil while we still can
Petition to President Obama:
“Thank you for protecting the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from offshore drilling for the next five years! Keeping dirty fuels in the ground is essential to fighting climate change and accelerating our transition to clean energy, but with Trump about to take over we must go further. We must permanently protect these oceans.”
With Donald Trump and his anti-environment cronies headed to Washington, permanently protecting our oceans from offshore drilling has to be a huge priority.
Kristin Brown is Director of Digital Strategy
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.