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Judge Overturns Trump’s Attempt to Open Vast Areas of Arctic, Atlantic to Oil and Gas Leasing

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

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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.

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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.

judge, arctic, atlantic, oil
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.

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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)

Next Story

Ozone-Depleting Substance Causes Half of Arctic Warming

Ozone-depleting substances behind half of Arctic warming

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Arctic warming
Ozone-depleting substances caused half of Arctic warming and sea ice loss. Pixabay

Ozone-depleting substances caused half of Arctic warming and sea ice loss from 1955 to 2005, causing about a third of all global warming during that period, reveals a significant study.

A scientific paper published in 1985 was the first to report a burgeoning hole in Earth’s stratospheric ozone over Antarctica.

The discovery left scientists into a huddle to determine the cause which happened to be ozone-depleting substances – long-lived artificial halogen compounds entirely manmade and popularly used as refrigerants, solvents and propellants.

The new study from researchers at Columbia University and published in the journal Nature Climate Change examined the greenhouse warming effects of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

Arctic warming
Ozone-depleting substances act as a strong supplement to carbon dioxide and had lead to Arctic warming. Pixabay

It found that the ozone-depleting substances acted as a strong supplement to carbon dioxide, the most pervasive greenhouse gas. “We showed that ODS have affected the Arctic climate in a substantial way,” said researcher Michael Previdi from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

The scientists reached their conclusion using two very different climate models that are widely employed by the scientific community, both developed at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research. The results highlight the importance of the Montreal Protocol, which has been signed by nearly 200 countries.

“Climate mitigation is in action as we speak because these substances are decreasing in the atmosphere, thanks to the Montreal Protocol,” said Lorenzo Polvani, lead author of the study. “In the coming decades, they will contribute less and less to global warming. It’s a good-news story”.

In the 1980s, a hole in Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer, which filters much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun, was discovered over Antarctica. Scientists quickly attributed it to ODS. The world sprang into action, finalizing a global agreement to phase out ODS.

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The Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987 and entered into force in 1989. Due to the swift international reaction, atmospheric concentrations of most ODS peaked in the late 20th century and have been declining since.

However, for at least 50 years, the climate impacts of ODS were extensive, revealed the new study. (IANS)

4 responses to “Ozone-Depleting Substance Causes Half of Arctic Warming”

  1. All of a sudden CO2 is irrelevant to the global warming narrative and Bang! HFCs dramatically introduced into the narrative, have caused Arctic Warming all along, but that’s OK because HFCs are decreasing, so the planet will now start cooling? Me thinks the alarmists are conceding to natural climate cycles but are doing their face-saving retreat in their own linear fashion that still blames and shames you. This convoluted story is absolutely absurd. Grand Solar Minimum, much? The CMIP6 Data now includes (allows) some solar and galactic climate forcing mechanisms to be introduced into the modelling. The writing is in the Computer Code to end the man-made climate charade from the Holy of Holy places, the IPCC, itself. The End is Nigh for the IPCC.

  2. .04 of 1% CO2 is the ‘most pervasive greenhouse gas’? If you had said
    ‘methane’, and I’d still be looking for quantities, I might still be
    listening. How does this tiny percentage of CO2 warrant ‘pervasive’?
    No amount of rationalization can establish CO2 as a main driver of
    the limited climate change that is occurring while in these
    quantities.
    Man made climate change is a major deception. The best
    and most compelling scientific facts do not support this arrogant
    man-o-centric assumption.
    This forum is not the platform to establish
    the case and facts of where the earth is in its orbit, and solar
    storms/flares as the more cause/effect drivers of the limited climate
    change that is occurring. This is a worthy avenue of research to
    check out.
    Neither is this the forum to make a distinction
    between three subjects that are conflated in the public perception as
    one and the same. Climate change, global warming, man made of either
    one or both of these.
    CO2 is plant food sustaining all green plants
    forever and a day. CO2 that is in a convection model, not a layered
    one. CO2 is not carbon. The two have been wrongly conflated in the
    public mind. Two separate subjects.
    There is less CO2 measurable at the beginning of earth’s regular climate cycles than at the end. Over and over again. Historically it is not then the driver of climate cycles.
    Anyway good read on ODSs and their possible contribution
    to what is happening at the poles. Definitely thought provocative.

  3. This is complete and total lies and fraud. Nothing in the atmosphere has any affect on the Arctic and these authors are swindlers and crooks!