Obama Blocks Gas And Oil Drilling In Arctic Ocean And Sacred Native Land
During his last days in the office, it seems like Barack Obama is doing his best to save whatever great achievements his administration already has under its belt, and make sure some of the things that are still lingering in the air are carefully protected before Trump rolls into the White House.
Last week, he signed off on a rule permanently protecting Planned Parenthood, the nonprofit which provides access to birth control, sexual health, cancer screenings, and abortions to women.
With women's reproductive rights secured, Obama's next move was to push through climate change issues, such as reducing United States' CO2 emissions, building more renewable energy sources, cutting energy waste, reducing risks of climate impacts, etc.
Spot the differences...
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Having to deal with Trump's constant promises to quit the Paris climate agreement and "unleash" new energy production by expanding offshore drilling, Obama is really hustling to shut the door for his madness. His latest motion –
this Friday, November 18, Obama's Interior Department issued the final five-year plan which blocks gas and oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and federal waters off the Atlantic coast.
After many letters from scientists and environmentalist groups urging to eliminate the Arctic Ocean from offshore lease sale plan, Obama removed two areas from it – Chukchi and Beaufort Seas leaving 10 auctions in the Gulf of Mexico and one in Alaska's Cook Inlet.
As Lois Epstein, an Alaska-licensed engineer and Arctic program director for the Wilderness Society, told the Washington Post:
"Arctic Ocean oil is among the riskiest and most costly in the world and producing it will worsen the effects of climate change."
Per Bloomberg, the U.S. Arctic is estimated to hold 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, a big part, however, buried below icy waters. The protection plan is still vulnerable come Trump and his team of climate change deniers, but it secures the Arctic for at least a few years buying everyone more time to.
Not only that, earlier this week Obama's administration canceled oil and gas drilling leases on lands in Montana that are considered sacred by the Native American Blackfeet Tribe.
The exploration leases included national parks and reserves, which not only boast a unique and "tremendously important" ecosystem (grizzly bears, elk, wolves, etc.) but are home to the creation stories of multiple tribes, including the Blackfeet.
The move carries significant weight in the context of the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protests. If conceived, the 1,172-mile pipeline would run underneath the Missouri River and carry crude oil from oilfields in North Dakota to Illinois. The route would go through sacred burial grounds and the main source of water of the Standing Rock Tribe.
While the DAPL construction is under halt, it seems like the final solution is yet to been found.
By Justina Bakutyte, published on 21/11/2016