President Barack Obama declared Alaska’s ecologically rich Bristol Bay off-limits for oil and gas exploration on Tuesday, saying the move was necessary to safeguard the region’s fishing and tourism industries.
The area was being withdrawn from consideration for all future oil and gas leasing, extending indefinitely a temporary ban issued by Obama in 2010, a White House statement said.
“I took action to make sure that one of America’s greatest natural resources and a massive economic engine for not only Alaska but for America, Bristol Bay, is preserved for future generations,” Obama said in a video.
“It is something that is too precious for us to put out to the highest bidder.”
The decision protects millions of acres of pristine coastline and terrain from drilling.
The administration of former president George W. Bush had originally planned a lease sale for the area in 2011.
Bristol Bay forms part of one of the world’s most valuable fisheries, helping to provide 40 percent of America’s wild-caught seafood and supporting a $2 billion annual fishing industry, the White House said.
The area also generates around $100 million each year from tourism and recreational fishing.
It is home to the world’s largest runs of wild sockeye salmon while also providing a haven for many species including the threatened Steller’s eider, sea otters, seals, walruses, Beluga and Killer whales, and the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.
Giggling Fox & Friends hosts gloat over Lewandowski hearing: ‘He gave as good as he got!’
The hosts of "Fox & Friends" giggled and gloated over Corey Lewandowski's contentious appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.
President Donald Trump's former campaign manager claimed executive privilege over testimony he gave before special counsel Robert Mueller, admitted he had lied in TV appearances and cracked jokes during five hours of testimony -- and the Fox News hosts were delighted.
"He gave as good as he got," said co-host Steve Doocy.
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt was laughing so hard she could barely speak.
"She said the truth shall set you free," Earhardt said, quoting Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) through guffaws. "'Answer the question,' there was no question."
Saudi Arabia to announce oil attacks findings as US weighs retaliation
Saudi Arabia said it will unveil the results later Wednesday of its probe into attacks on key oil installations, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to the kingdom to discuss possible retaliation.
Riyadh, which is bogged down in a five-year war against Tehran-aligned rebels in neighbouring Yemen, has said that the weapons used were Iranian-made, but has not directly blamed its arch rival.
However, the Saudi defence ministry said its spokesman would present evidence from the site of the weekend attacks that halved Saudi oil production, sending global energy markets into a tailspin.
‘Heartless and unconscionable’: Outrage as General Motors cuts off healthcare for 50,000 striking workers
"It is cruel and outrageous that GM has cut off the healthcare benefits from their employees in a blatant attempt to force the union into submission," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In a move critics said exposes both the particular cruelty of General Motors executives and the systemic inhumanity of the American healthcare system, GM on Tuesday stopped covering health insurance premiums for the nearly 50,000 auto workers striking for fair wages and decent benefits.