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Obama bans oil drilling in large sections of Atlantic, Arctic oceans

Dec 21, 2016 09:48 AM

The action is coordinated with similar steps by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Activists in 2015 protest drilling in the Arctic and the Port of Seattle being used by Shell Oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer.

Courtesy The Washington Post

Activists in 2015 protest drilling in the Arctic and the Port of Seattle being used by Shell Oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer.

(WASHINGTON) — President Obama, using the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, has withdrawn hundreds of millions of acres of federally owned land in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean from new offshore oil and gas drilling, The Washington Post reported. Obama invoked the act Tuesday to protect large portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in the Arctic and a string of canyons in the Atlantic from Massachusetts to Virginia. The announcement by the White House was coordinated with similar steps being taken by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to shield large areas of that nation’s Arctic waters from drilling. Neither measure affects leases already held by oil and gas companies and drilling activity in state waters.

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