Courtesy of Reuters:
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 Court 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 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.
The Obama-imposed leasing prohibitions “will remain in full force and effect unless and until revoked by Congress,” Gleason said in her ruling.
Well if Trump is waiting for the Democratically led Congress to support oil drilling in the Arctic he has a long wait in front of him.
It would appear that this issue is dead.
And that is good news for Alaska.