This past September, a coalition of 21 groups supportive of responsible resource development in Alaska, including the Alaska Chamber of Commerce, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, the Alaskan Federation of Labor and others, continued their efforts with an advertising campaign calling on the Obama Administration to allow for the possibility of lease sales to be held for federally controlled tracts in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
The Obama administration on Friday blocked new exploration for oil and gas in Arctic waters, in a win for environmental groups that had fought development of the ecologically fragile region.
According to the 2017 to 2022 leasing plan published by the US Department of the Interior, drilling will be banned in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off northern Alaska.
The final program, covering the years 2017 to 2022, includes 11 potential lease sales in four areas: 10 sales in three areas of the Gulf of Mexico now not under moratorium, as well as one sale in the Cook Inlet area of Alaska.
President-elect Donald Trump could, however, rewrite the blueprint for drilling after he takes office in January. The benefits of Arctic offshore drilling will be felt far beyond the oil and gas industry and the Shipbuilder's Council of America believes a future that includes Arctic OCS development bodes well for our members, Alaska, and the American people. Furthermore, this decision has honored the Tribal Government of Point Lay and the many other Alaska Natives from across the Arctic and Alaska who have asked this administration to protect their subsistence rights by saying no to Arctic drilling.
NZ quake town evacuation almost complete
Harry Harris said that the USS Sampson has two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters on board the warship to help in the evacuation efforts. A local state of emergency has been declared for the region of Canterbury, which is home to the areas hardest hit by the quake.
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.
"Today's announcement demonstrates a commitment to prioritizing common sense, economics and science ahead of industry favoritism and politics as usual", said Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana's senior vice-president for the United States.
"The arrogance of the decision is unfathomable, but unfortunately not surprising", said Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, an industry group. "He can ban risky oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic for all time". Also, environmentalists had uncovered details of an old law that forced the company to cut exploration there by half. "But thanks to the Obama administration's leadership, the Arctic Ocean, like the Atlantic Ocean earlier this year, will remain protected from fossil fuel development".
"Coming from the little tourist town of Kure Beach, North Carolina, I've been proud to stand with friends from the Arctic as we turned out record numbers of opponents at public hearings and delivered millions of comments to the White House opposed to offshore drilling". Yet, on the way out of office, the Obama administration remains determined to leave a legacy that keeps much of America's vital offshore oil and natural gas resources off limits to exploration and development. "Doing so would require redoing all that scoping and environmental analysis, which took years to complete".
"Shell pulled out in 2015 not because of some regulatory problem, but simply because the economics of this drilling are not viable under current oil price conditions", said Pavel Molchanov, an equity research analyst at Raymond James & Associates, speaking to environmental news outlet Inside Climate News.