Friday, November 18, 2016

Obama bans Arctic oil drilling

In a final sally before bowing out President Obama has blown one last resounding raspberry at President-Elect Donald Trump by banning drilling for oil in the pristine waters of the Arctic.
As part of the US federal government's land and ocean leasing program, the move has been praised by environmentalists, but will only serve to irritate Trump and his fuel cronies. Technically, Trump could reverse the ruling, but the poor economics and high risks of Arctic drilling will probably be enough to deter fossil fuel companies anyway. For example, the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell spend over $7 billion in exploration costs in the oil-rich waters off the Alaska coast, before finally abandoning the project this last September.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy management, which manages the leases of oil drilling projects, has also put the Atlantic out of bounds good future development, although it has opened up new areas of the Gulf of Mexico, which is the current epicentre of offshore oil development.
This latest announcement is just one more of what Trump describes as "Obama-Clinton roadblocks" to large-scale fossil fuel development and, as such, is to be commended.

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