One last effort to make things even messier doesn’t go untapped. Time reports that President Obama issued a permanent ban for outside US oil drilling, using the “conserve marine species” disguise. This way he obviously managed to somehow make Trumps agenda a little ineffective, as well as getting Greenpeace supporters on his side.
“Millions of people around the world will be grateful to President Obama for permanently protecting much of the Arctic and the Atlantic coasts from catastrophic oil exploration and development,” Greenpeace spokesman Travis Nichols stated. “Decisions like these are crucial.”
The freedom to act like this is given to the president by a seldom-used provision of a 1953 law, allowing him to indefinitely block oil and gas drilling in some waters controlled by the US. This move hasn’t been seen until now, so President-elect Trump might not have many options. Although the law can be transformed, given the Republican majority in the Congress, it can still take some time to achieve that.
This move by President Obama might be praised by many, but the new Congress will surely not be among them. Instead they will see this as a failure, a loss of job opportunities. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has already said: “Arctic development is one of the best ways to create jobs, generate revenues and refill the Trans-Alaska Pipeline … Why the president is willing to send all of those benefits overseas is beyond explanation.”