Protecting Coasts from Drilling

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Ignoring the grave harm inflicted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in 2010, the oil industry made a strong push over the course of Obama’s presidency to expand offshore drilling into the publicly-owned Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.

That was reflected in Shell’s efforts to drill on Arctic leases it acquired under President Bush and campaigns by the industry to issue new leases in both the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.  But President Obama listened to the American people and said no to Big Oil, taking bold action to protect our coasts from the risks of oil spills and our planet from the risks of climate change.

Key highlights:

  • After Shell’s mishap-laden attempts to drill in the Arctic Ocean, the company announced it was abandoning its efforts after President Obama denied its request to extend its drilling rights.
  • President Obama’s Interior Department finalized an offshore drilling plan for the years 2017-22 that removed scheduled drilling lease sales in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans that were included in an earlier version of the plan. They also rejected permits by the industry to conduct seismic airgun blasting to test for oil in the Atlantic Ocean, a process that harms marine life.
  • President Obama—the first sitting U.S. president to travel to the Arctic—took historic action by using his executive authority to ban drilling in virtually the entire American Arctic Ocean and important parts of the Atlantic Ocean, which he announced in coordination with Canada imposing a drilling freeze in its Arctic waters.
According to a recent LCV and NRDC poll, the vast majority of Americans -- especially millennials -- support investing in clean energy and permanently protecting the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from offshore drilling.
According to a recent LCV and NRDC poll, the vast majority of Americans — especially millennials — support investing in clean energy and permanently protecting the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from offshore drilling. Read more >>