Just how ‘permanent’ is Obama’s Arctic drilling ban?

President Barack Obama is unilaterally blocking the government from issuing new offshore drilling leases in large parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, which media outlets have described as “permanent.”

But just how “permanent” is Obama’s offshore ban? Not at all.

It’s only “permanent” if President-elect Donald Trump or Congress choose not to challenge it.

On Tuesday, Obama designated “the vast majority of U.S. waters in Daily Caller New Foundationthe Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing.” He was joined by and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who ordered “all Arctic Canadian waters as indefinitely off limits to future offshore Arctic oil and gas licensing.”

 Obama ordered his drilling ban be “reviewed every five years through a climate and marine science-based life-cycle assessment.” Basically, applying a climate test to offshore drilling on the assumption such reviews will always find it damaging to the environment.

Environmentalists have been urging him for months to use Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a 1953 law, to block offshore drilling. Obama’s order is quite unprecedented, and possibly hard to overturn — at least, that’s what activists hope.

Activists argue the law does not give a future president the power to undo a drilling ban. To be fair, there’s no case law on the matter. An effort by Trump to reverse the designation would likely be battled out in the courts for years.

“It’s never been done before,” Patrick Parenteau, an environmental law professor at Vermont Law School, told The New York Times’ Coral Davenport. “There is no case law on this. It’s uncharted waters.”

Past presidents have used the 1953 law to make swaths of ocean off-limits to drilling, and subsequent presidents have scaled back these designations but never done away with them entirely.

“They’ll be arguing about this for years in the courts,” Parenteau said.

Trump, however, will have a Republican-controlled Congress. Lawmakers could amend or even repeal the 1953 law to explicitly allow presidents to undo drilling bans set in place by their predecessors.

The only potential problem would be getting 60 votes in the Senate, but there are some pro-oil Democrats who could cross the aisle to join Republicans.

On the other hand, low oil prices have dampened oil companies’ willingness to drill offshore. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is becoming more efficient , and drilling offshore requires huge capital investments.

Indeed, a Royal Dutch Shell said its 2015 exploratory oil rig “found indications of oil and gas in the Burger J well, but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration in the Burger prospect.” Oil was too cheap to justify the multi-billion dollar investment.

All that could change if oil prices rise enough.

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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

Read the law on administration of the U.S. outer continental shelf at CFACT.org.

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About the Author: Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch writes on energy, climate and the environment for the Daily Caller.

  • Frederick Colbourne

    This is ridiculous. An amendment to the law would probably need one sentence.

  • barbarakelly

    WELL BEING NOT LEGIT, WITH A FAKE BIRTH CERTIFICATE. THAT DOESN’T MAKE HIM AMERICAN. SO ALL HIS RULING IS NOT REAL.!!

    • Dano2

      Birther! Drink!

      Best,

      D

      • J T

        Go soak your head, you dchbg.

        • Dano2

          Don’t have a little sads because I called a keyword in our Derpnialist Drinking Game! Turn that frown upside down, lad!

          Best,

          D

          • Immortal600

            The child speaks. You uneducated dummy.

      • Peatro Giorgio

        We shall soon find out if President elect Donald J.Trump decides to pursue the truth; regarding Obama’s birth certificate. When then upon Donald J. Trump’s taking office request the FBI to investigate Sheriff Joe ArPials Stated fact finding information as proof the birth certificate in question is & was indeed a forgery. If proven true ? Not a single law, not a single treaty, not a single act preformed by Obama is lawful or constitutional. Then each an every act,action, commutation, pardon shall be void,removed from the books. Followed by arrest, prosecutions convictions, sentencing for everyone involved. What a way to completely eliminate, erase Obama from the records of the Presidency. Further fulfilling the prophetesses in becoming revelations revealed of the demise & destruction of the Demo-rat party.

        • Dano2

          “truth”

          Best,

          D

          • Tom Austin

            Dano, While I agree that Obama is an American, you are the last person to talk about drinking kool-aid. Based on your many comments on various climate forums, You have bought every climate “change” hoax out there in spite over overwhelming evidence that there is not overwhelming evidence of AGW. Notice, I will support a hypothesis that there is climate change occurring, I simply do not support the flawed and erroneous models stating 1) it’s our fault and 2) we can fix it by taxing and by repealing the last 200 years of progress. I plan to see 100 years of age, do you?

            • Dano2

              Educate yourself, you are profoundly ignorant undereducated: over overwhelming evidence that there is not overwhelming evidence of AGW.

              Over 10k papers covering ~2 centuries refutin’ you.

              Best,

              D

              • Tom Austin

                I wonder which one of us has a PhD in physical chemistry, actually reads the papers you refer to, and not does spout liberal talking points every chance he gets? I assume you’ve read the recent CERN cloud experiment papers that invalidates almost all the present computer models? Now I may be retired but I bet my education level in terms of degrees and actual work in related fields far out strips your in both areas and I’ve seen your less than convincing and then insulting diatribes on other forums. Have a good day in your little fantasy world while us grown up live in the real world. You know the one that cheap fossil fuels built and will continue to be the best way to raise people out of poverty until well after your (and my) death. Try to go a day without using anything that fossil fuels in some way has not touched. Good luck. By the way, you never did answer how punitive taxation will save the planet?

                • Dano2

                  the recent CERN cloud experiment papers that invalidates almost all the present computer models?

                  Hmmmm….

                  spout …talking points, indeed.

                  Best,

                  D

                  • Johnpd

                    To further your education, I recommend two books:
                    Heaven and Earth global warming: the missing science, by Prof. Ian Plimer.
                    And: The Deliberate corruption of Climate Science, by drtimball.com

                    • Dano2

                      Tim Ball and Ian Plimer books instead of pointing to the scientific literature.

                      Compelling!

                      Best,

                      D

                    • Johnpd

                      These books are written for non-scientist, such as myself, such as the majority of the world’s population. The truth will out.

                    • Dano2

                      The truth is those books are written by disinformation specialists, not climate scientists. They are meant to deceive.

                      Best,

                      D

                    • Immortal600

                      What would you know? You have no clue about climate dynamics. You think it has been settled for 200 years. What a joke! hahahahahahahahaha

                    • Dano2

                      Another blatant lie derp fib: settled for 200 years.

                      Sad but funny.

                      Best,

                      D

                    • Immortal600

                      Too bad you have ZERO understanding of the science, child.

                    • Immortal600

                      Both Dr. Ball and Ian Plimer know more science than YOU. They have been published. YOU? NOTHING but bogus claims you can’t substantiate. FRAUD.

                    • Dano2

                      I have published no Disinformation, true.

                      Best,

                      D

                    • Immortal600

                      You have published NO information PERIOD, FRAUD

                  • Immortal600

                    He schooled you, CHUMP. You have ZERO credentials and you’ve shown that time and again.

                    • Dano2

                      “schooled”

                      Best,

                      D

                    • Immortal600

                      aka “owned”, child

                    • Immortal600

                      aka “owned”, child.

                • Otter

                  No use trying to talk to him, Tom. I need to look at Disqus and see if there is a block function so we can can this guy.

                  • Immortal600

                    Dano suffers from OCD. Notice how it is IMPOSSIBLE for him to make a post without his phony ‘Best D’ attached. He is mentally ill. A fraud on top of it. He claims several degrees and having been published but cannot offer a shred of proof. A true child he is.

              • Immortal600

                Over 10k papers covering ~2 centuries refutin’ you.

                LIE. No they don’t. NONE of them can show CO2 driving climate change. N O N E You have nothing, little boy. Now have another childish response.

                • Dano2

                  Poor hapless denialist is haplessly in error.

                  Again.

                  As I showed but it can’t comprehend.

                  Best,

                  D

                  • Immortal600

                    I “comprehend” that YOU are a child and FRAUD.

              • Peatro Giorgio

                Over whelming evidence Ur arse. Try these web sites on for size each of them have published peer reviewed studies to the contrary.
                Forbes > sites > jamestalor 2015/02/13
                According to a survey reported in a peer reviewed Organizations studies
                Only 36% of Geoscientist and Engineers Believe humans are creating global warming. By contrast 1,077 respondents believe nature is the primary cause of recent global warming They further go on to state that future global warming shall not be a serious problem.
                Next web site Watts Up With That? > 2013/08/13 > ne…
                NASA Scientists Warn Pope against Global warming Alarm ism.
                posted on the web site The Daily Caller > 2015/06/08 > retired…
                50 NASA Scientist Against Global warming
                Ricochet
                https://ricochet.com > archives > 50-nas…

                Next up ! List of scientist opposing mainstream scientific assessment of global warming.
                Wikipedia > wiki > List_of_scientists_op…
                Follow this web site’s posting then follow each of the links provided at the bottom of the page.
                Links will be titled as follows.
                Scientist questioning the accuracy of IPCC climate projections.
                Next title, Scientists arguing that global warming is unknown. Next title, Scientists arguing that global warming will have few negative consequences.
                Lastly over 31,000 scientists who are not government funded Disagree with the IPCC.
                FACT !
                THE ONLY SCIENTIST Of WHOM ARE PROMOTING & PROMULGATED THE FALSE THEORY OF MAN CAUSED GLOBAL WARNING are those who’s funding comes directly & solely from government’s Can you say ANY GOVERNMENT IS HONEST AND TRUST WORTHY ????
                If you can then you are the FOOL.Which by the way is exactly how governments think of you & hope of you the weak ,narrow minded gullible idiots whom fear their very own shadows.

                • Dano2

                  Your first reference is an op-ed by James Taylor, where in the comments he was called out by the paper’s author for misstating the conclusions of the paper.

                  Aren’t you precious??

                  Best,

                  D

                  • Peatro Giorgio

                    Yes James was called out by the AUTHOR . HOWEVER .the facts of the Authors Oriinal writings As James quoted are not in dispute. As for the other reports studies I noted you have no answer.
                    AREN’T YOU PRECIOUS LY DECEPTIVE.
                    P.G.

                    • Dano2

                      You lost credibility instantly. Now you misstated the Taylor issue.

                      You have zero credibility.

                      Best,

                      D

                    • Peatro Giorgio

                      I fully agree with your lost zero credibility statement How ever The U is looking back at U in Ur mirror.
                      As for myself I’ve taken upon my own curiosity to read in comparison setting, side by side James Talor -Not Taylor as you’ve typed oped along side of Authors Paper . WHERE IN I have concluded but mere miniscule differences . Talors oped alines not only with the over whelming findings of the author but nearly match the very statistics of other peer reviewed studies an beliefs of 31,000 scientist who have responded who either totally or mostly disagree with man caused global warming. Dig deeper,fake man caused global warming religious Zealot, government popcicle sucker U.

                    • Dano2

                      Gish Gallop gives you away.

                      Best,

                      D

                    • Peatro Giorgio

                      Dam I didn’t want to believe it possible 4 one to be so extremely naively gullible.
                      Giss Gallop is little more THEN A GIFTED CONTRARYAN . In other words a science clown of no substance . a joker , a tricksterer , a pretender. Yes sir youve convinced yes in deed you my little friend are extremely Gullible, Naively, ignorant.

      • Immortal600

        Child. You are a FRAUD.No degrees and nothing published. FRAUD

        • Dano2

          More fibs.

          Sad!

          D

          • Tom Austin

            Give it up people. He provided no citation or even referenced anything to support his absurd claims. Nor will he. Just don’t feed the uneducated troll any longer. His insults, lack of specifics, and refusal to answer questions that would either propel the discussion forward or (more likely) expose his ignorance of the subject. It’s simply not worth the time or effort to try to educate him. If he would have been one of my students I would have strongly suggested a liberal arts major as any STEM area has been shown to be beyond his abilities.

            • Immortal600

              Tom, you take the high road with him. Me? I have no respect for the clown. He trolls this site regularly. He deserves all the scorn heaped upon him. Ignorant people like him are the reason this country isn’t as strong economically as it could be. I despise people like Dano.

            • Dano2

              You can’t point to a single solitary claim I failed to support. Nor can you point to any lack of specifics, and refusal to answer questions

              You made that up. Shame!

              Best,

              D

              • Tom Austin

                Okay, I’ll bite one last time. Show me where in all the remarks in this present forum that you offered one citation or referenced on specific body of work or laboratory, You cite 10k of papers and 200 years of proof. Developing the poperties of a chemical compound is not proof of AGW, just so you understand. Other posters on this forum have suggested specific books (I strongly suggest you read both) or pointed to specific articles. I suggested looking at the CERN cloud work in the area of gamma ray production of clouds in the pre-industrial world. You may want to read the press release, as the actual paper (based on your comments) will be well above your head. No I know you will come back with an empty and supposedly cutting comment. I’ve wasted more time than was required to try to point you in the proper direction to become educated but this is the last time I will rise to the bait and will no longer take the time in this futile effort. Have a good day

                • Dano2

                  My, my.

                  The two denialist books written by long-ago discredited non-climate scientists mentioned upthread do not refute the over 10K papers covering ~2 centuries. Your CERN CLOUD papers don’t refute 10K papers covering ~2 centuries. They merely mention cloud formation pre-Industrial Revolution, they do not overturn ~2 centuries of physics and chemistry.

                  Denialists have nothing – no NewScience, no NewPhysics – to refute the science. Nothing. Physics and chemistry have not been replaced with denialist wishes.

                  Best,

                  D

          • Immortal600

            NOPE! Truth and everyone can see it, child.

  • Ruth Bard

    Funny, Justin Trudeau (Obama Lite) has just done the same thing for Canadian waters. You don’t suppose they were in cahoots? Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber.

  • Arizona Don

    It is certainly true barack obama “cannot” make any law permanent unilaterally. He or the media can say anything they want. “Ain’t” true! Obama could not make it permanent even if he somehow got it passed by congress. Any government that can give you anything you wish can take anything you have. Remember that young folks cause it is TRUE! Now reconsider the power you want government to have! Don’t be stupid learn from the mistakes of others cause it is not possible to live long enough to make them all yourself!

  • 46patrick46

    Obama is not dictator , his title is President. As such , he has no legal authority to take executive action and bypass Congress. Even laws passed by Congress can be reversed. As a young soldier we were promised health care for Life at the V. A.

    A subsequent Congress rescinded that law and I no longer have free
    V. A. Health Care. Health Care at the V. A. is means tested. I can afford to pay for my health care therefore pay I must. It’s not consequential that I put my life on the line and fought in a war in the service of my country.
    Promises made , promises broken. That’s Government for you. This Obama executive order will be reversed. Nothing is permanent except death and taxes.

    • AllenBarclayAllen

      Trycare for life retired military that are fortunate enough to live to age 65 are penalised again and forced to pay $2450.00 a year for healthcare ! This is the worst descrimination against age and our military of all time ! A UN heard of descrimination we never recruted for in the first place ! This a contractual recruitment promised broken by George Bush junior in 2001 after he swore to his mother he wouldn’t touch our social security in the military ! Now you know why President Donald Trump was so hard on Congress Senate and last republican presidents ! They all screwed the American military man democrat Obama and Bush Republicans ! Military retired don’t pay for anything health care it’s a recrutement contractual broken promises !

  • Imagine if Hillary had won. Part-time climate change scientist and inventor of the internet Al Gore would be her climate change ‘czar.’

  • Immortal600

    Dano the kook has ZERO understanding of climate dynamics. That goes for that fool ‘Ian’ as well. A couple of wannabes who think they know something that in reality they have no clue about.