Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Chukchi Sea, between U.S. and Russia. VOA

A federal judge in Alaska has overturned U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempt to open vast areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to oil and gas leasing.

The decision issued late Friday by U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason leaves intact President Barack Obama’s policies putting the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea, part of the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea and a large swath of the Atlantic Ocean off the U.S. East Coast off-limits to oil leasing.


Trump’s attempt to undo Obama’s protections was unlawful and a violation of the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Gleason ruled. Presidents have the power under that law to withdraw areas from the national oil and gas leasing program, as Obama did, but only Congress has the power to add areas to the leasing program, she said.


Trump’s attempt to undo Obama’s protections was unlawful and a violation of the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Gleason ruled. VOA

The Obama-imposed leasing prohibitions will remain in effect unless and until revoked by Congress, Gleason said in her ruling.

Trump’s move to put offshore Arctic and Atlantic areas back into play for oil development came in a 2017 executive order that was part of his energy dominance agenda. The order was among a series of actions that jettisoned Obama administration environmental and climate-change initiatives.

Expanded program

The Trump administration has proposed a vastly expanded offshore oil leasing program to start this year. The five-year Trump leasing program would offer two lease sales a year in Arctic waters and at least two lease sales a year in the Atlantic. The Trump plan also calls for several lease sales in remote marine areas off Alaska, like the southern Bering Sea, that are considered to hold negligible potential for oil.

Obama had pulled much of the Arctic off the auction block following a troubled offshore Arctic exploration program pursued by Royal Dutch Shell. Shell spent at least $7 billion trying to explore the Chukchi and part of the Beaufort. The company wrecked one of its drill ships in a grounding and completed only one well to depth. It abandoned the program in 2015 and relinquished its leases.


FILE – The lagoon complex is seen in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, located in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, in this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service picture taken Aug. 24, 2010. VOA

Gleason, in a separate case, delivered another decision Friday that blocked the Trump administration’s effort to overturn an Obama-era environmental decision.
Gleason struck down a land trade intended to clear the way for a road to be built though sensitive wetlands in Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. The Obama administration, after a four-year environmental impact statement process, determined that the land trade and road would cause too much harm to the refuge to be justified.

ALSO READ: Ebola Treatment Center in Congo Resumes Operations after Attack

Trump’s then-interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, broke the law when he summarily reversed the Obama policy without addressing the facts found in the previous administration’s study of the issue, Gleason ruled. (VOA)


Popular

Photo by Unsplash

Smart living is also about smart breathing.

By Himanshu Agarwal

While smart homes are typically about connected and automated devices and appliances, making it a super convenient and comfortable living experience for residents, there is one connection that we often seem to miss when we speak of smart homes -- the inextricable connection with the indoor home environment.

After all, smart living is also about smart breathing. Unless we breathe clean and pure air even within our homes, smart living remains an incomplete aspiration. Therefore, as we pivot big time to a modern lifestyle with nearly 24/7 gadgets, utilities, and network dependency within our homes, a sense of balance with respect to the indoor ambiance must also be attained. And this balance necessarily means breathing pristine, unadulterated pure air even at homes.

Don't forget we breathe 24/7 even when living in smart homes


Of course, in this time and age when we are actively using some smart device or the other within the premises of our smart homes most of the time, the point that we are also breathing 24/7 need not be as labored. However, the question is: whether the quality of the air that we are breathing indoors is commensurate with the aspiration for this so-called quality of life and experience of living in high-class homes. In other words, even as we think we are living the 'high life' using all the fancy gadgets and increasing convenience in life, unless we breathe the right air, the desire and dream of quality living will not find true meaning.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Thomas Bradley on Unsplash

Palazzo pants on display

By - Jhon Richardson

People all around the world love shopping. When people go shopping for Anti social socil club hoodie they want to find the perfect pieces that fit them, look good on them, and are in season. People also know there are things you should watch for when shopping but tend to make some common mistakes during the evaluation process.

Keep reading... Show less