Quantcast
Connect with us

Obama to protect 1.4 million acres of Arctic refuge from oil and gas drilling

Published

on

President Barack Obama (AFP)

U.S. President Barack Obama will propose expanding the protected area of Alaska’s Arctic refuge by 12.28 million acres (4.97 million hectares), including the state’s Coastal Plain where oil and gas are drilled, the Interior Department said on Sunday.

The proposal to expand the part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge designated as wilderness faces an uphill battle in Congress, where Republicans in control of both chambers oppose curbs to oil production, and drew immediate criticism.

ADVERTISEMENT

The wilderness designation, the highest level of federal protection under which oil and gas drilling is banned, would be extended to 19.8 million acres under the proposal, the Interior Department said.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska called the Obama administration’s move a politically motivated attack on Alaska. On Friday, she had introduced a bill that would have permitted oil production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“It’s clear this administration does not care about us, and sees us as nothing but a territory. The promises made to us at statehood, and since then, mean absolutely nothing to them. I cannot understand why this administration is willing to negotiate with Iran, but not Alaska,” Murkowski said in a statement on Sunday.

“We will fight back with every resource at our disposal,” she said.

The area in question, a narrow strip wedged between the peaks of the Brooks Range and the Arctic Ocean, is a vital site for polar bears and the migratory Porcupine caribou herd which raises young there.

ADVERTISEMENT

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the coastal plain holds 10.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

The Washington Post, which first reported the story, said the Interior Department would also place part of the Arctic Ocean off limits to drilling and is considering additional limits on oil and gas production in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

The announcement is one of a series that the Interior Department will make this week that will affect Alaska’s oil and gas production, the Post said.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Doina Chiacu)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Bill Barr shows his true colors — and they’re terrifying

Published

on

One of the greatest lessons of the Trump era is one we should have learned a long time ago. The idea of a Republican establishment made up of straight-arrow, patriotic, All-American "adults" has been a myth for decades now, and it needs to be thrown in the rubbish bin once and for all. There may have been a time when most GOP officials, whether conservative or moderate, were "traditionalists" or "institutionalists" or maybe "constitutionalists," but that time is long past. Indeed, at this point there is only one Republican among the 53 in the U.S. Senate whom you could even remotely identify as being in that mold: Mitt Romney. And he is hardly a fearless crusader for truth, justice and the American way.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

‘Idiot’ Trump is more and more ‘out of it’ as COVID-19 death toll cracks 200,000: columnist

Published

on

Calling the president of the United States an "idiot," longtime political observer Michael Tomasky admitted he was appalled by Donald Trump for not only downplaying the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic but also for praising his own leadership during the national health crisis that is set to pass 200,000 deaths within days.

In his column for the Daily Beast, Tomasky pointed to comments the president made during a town hall on ABC about the pandemic that he claims showed the president wants nothing more than to move on from talking about those who have died, calling Trump an "embarrassment" to himself.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

REVEALED: Trump to announce billions in aid to Puerto Rico in desperate attempt to win Florida

Published

on

President Donald Trump on Friday will announce a multi-billion dollar federal aid package for Puerto Rico, with most of the funds to be used to rebuild the U.S. territory's power grid, devastated by hurricanes that attack the island every year.

The desperately needed assistance comes after Trump has spent his entire tenure in office attacking Puerto Rico, its leaders, and complaining repeatedly about congressionally-approved funds for the overlooked island. Recently it was revealed he wanted to sell Puerto Rico, after the 2017 Hurricane Maria that took the lives of 3059 people, and did nearly $92 billion in damage.

Continue Reading