Obama Bans Future Oil Leases in Much of Arctic and Atlantic
President Barack Obama has declared much of U.S. waters in the Arctic Ocean and some areas in the Atlantic Ocean permanently unavailable to oil and gas drilling.
The Obama administration announced the action as the government of Canada took similar measures. Canada is placing a temporary ban on new oil and gas leasing in parts of the Arctic Ocean that it controls.
Obama is using part of a 1953 law to ban leases for oil and gas drilling. Offshore drilling involves recovering oil or gas below the bottom of the sea. The law the administration is using says, "the president of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf."
The Continental Shelf is an area near land where the ocean is not very deep.
Environmental groups hope the move will make it difficult for future presidents to change the ban.
The Obama administration said the ban was an answer to environmental concerns. These include the importance of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas to native Alaskans, and the risk that an oil spill presents to the ecosystems there.
Some oil industry officials disagreed with the president's action.
Dan Naatz, of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said that the ban would put the U.S. on a path of energy dependence for many years. He said that the U.S. instead should be a global energy leader.
President-elect Donald Trump has promised to make major changes to how the U.S. produces energy. He has chosen Cabinet nominees who are strongly opposed to Obama's environmental and climate change policies.
Trump's election victory has put pressure on environmental groups and businesses that rely on tourism and fishing. Trump has said he wants to use all available fuel reserves to reduce energy imports.
Jackie Savitz is a senior vice president at the environmental group Oceana. She says that the decision will help protect coastal tourism and fishing businesses from offshore drilling. She says that oil drilling provides smaller profits than supporters promise and can harm coastal life.
What is not clear is how difficult it will be for future presidents to change Obama's decision.
In 2008, President George W. Bush used a legal action to permit drilling on Outer Continental Shelf lands.
However, administration officials have noted that previous "indefinite withdrawals" are still in place.
Congratulations and critique
Lawmakers have had mixed reactions to the move.
Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey said that President Obama is putting the interests of millions of Americans ahead of oil companies.
However, Utah Representative and chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop says that the president is only trying to please special interest groups.
"This is not a moral calling; it's an abuse of power," he said.
The ban is one of several efforts Obama has made in recent months to leave an environmental legacy for his presidency.
In August, the Obama administration announced it will increase the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii to 1.5 million square kilometers. This makes the monument the largest marine protected area in the United States.
I'm Phil Dierking.
1.interest group 利益集团
Popular Association is the premise and base of the development of the interest group.
2.in place 适当；到位
We already have our core team in place.
3.offshore drilling 海底钻探
Two years later, Mr Megrahi was home and BP had its offshore drilling rights.
4.rely on 依靠；依赖
We had to rely on a compass and a lot of luck to get here.
1.the president of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf."
from time to time 不时；偶尔
From time to time we all get a hankering for something a little different.
Her daughters visited him from time to time when he was ill.
2.Trump's election victory has put pressure on environmental groups and businesses that rely on tourism and fishing.
put pressure on 向...施加压力
He may have put pressure on her to agree.
They put pressure on the Government to change its intransigent stance.
奥巴马政府宣布该决定的同时，加拿大政府也采取了类似措施 。加拿大出台了在其管辖的北冰洋部分地区进行石油和天然气开采租约的临时禁令 。
奥巴马引用1953年出台的一项法律禁止颁发石油和天然气钻探的租约 。海上钻探包括回收海底石油与天然气 。奥巴马所引用的法律条文称，“美国总统可在恰当时机撤销那些外大陆架未批租土地 。”
美国独立石油协会的丹·纳茨(Dan Naatz)表示，该禁令将会使美国步入对能源长期依赖的阶段 。他说，美国应成为全球能源领袖 。
候任总统川普曾承诺将对美国能源生产进行重大变革 。他提名数位强烈反对奥巴马环境和气候变化政策的担任内阁职位 。
川普胜选让环保组织及依赖旅游和渔业等企业倍感压力 。川普曾表示，他希望利用所有可用的燃料储备来减少能源进口 。
杰姬·萨维茨（Jackie Savitz）是海洋环境保护组织高级副总裁 。她表示，该决定可避免沿海旅游业和渔业受到海上钻探的影响 。她说，石油钻探的利润并没有支持者们承诺的那么高，而且还会危害海洋生物 。
马萨诸塞州民主党参议员埃德·马基（Ed Markey）表示，奥巴马总统把广大美国人的利益置于石油公司之上 。
然而，犹他州众议员及众议院自然资源委员会主席罗伯·比修普(Rob Bishop)表示，奥巴马总统此举只是为了取悦特殊利益集团罢了 。