POSSIBLY worried by a statement made by Donald Trump about exploitation of existing oil reserves, President Obama has banned the offshore drilling for gas and oil in the Arctic.
This was made in a joint announcement with Canada, although the Canadian decision only covers the next five years whilst Obama’s office has indicated that the ban will be permanent based upon an exisitng 1953 law.
Two main problems exist for the current Administration. Firstly, once Trump is in power he may well look to reverse the decision. Secondly, the Russians are already exploiting the Arctic waters and it may be possible for American firms to lease rights from them prior to being allowed into US Arctic waters.
Environmental groups have welcomed the decision and have promised to take legal action in the event that the decision is challenged.