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Hurdle for Trump, Obama takes new action to ban Arctic drilling

| Updated: Dec 21, 2016 16:41 IST

New York [U.S.], Dec. 21 (ANI): Relying on a 63-year-old law to make his move, which will prevent future leasing of certain offshore areas for oil rights, U.S. President President Barack Obama took new action barring offshore drilling in areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans indefinitely, which is bound to be a stumbling block for his successor Donald Trump. Trump, who has promised a policy allowing more US energy production, would face legal challenges if he attempted to reverse Obama's order. The US is also declaring 31 canyons off the Atlantic coast off-limits for drilling, citing "critical and irreplaceable ecological value." According to CNN, the White House said Obama was declaring the entire US portion of the Chukchi sea and the vast majority of the Beaufort Sea "indefinitely off limits for future oil and gas leasing," citing critical protection for the marine mammals, ecological resources and native populations. Meanwhile, Canada has also announced that it will freeze its offshore oil and gas exploration in its Arctic waters. In his last days in the office, Obama has used executive actions to put restrictions on new leases in the waters surrounding the United States, including in the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. His administration decided last month against allowing new leases for certain areas in the Arctic for the next five years. Obama's previous efforts barring new leases in the Arctic and Atlantic could be reversed when Trump takes office and his new administration issues new plans for drilling. Tuesday's initiatives, however, will be more difficult to reverse since they would be implemented using a law and not executive action. Obama's environmental legacy faces an uncertain future under Trump, who has dismissed climate change as a hoax and vowed to remove the US from the international Paris climate accord. (ANI)