The Obama administration has ended leasing for oil excavation in the Arctic for the foreseeable future. The announcement came after Royal Dutch Shell said that it was abandoning exploration in the Arctic.
“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” said Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior.
The Interior Department also rejected requests from Shell and Statoil to extend leases they currently hold for Arctic exploration, citing that the companies could not illustrate how they would take advantage of the extra exploration time.
“This is a historic decision to keep Arctic oil in the ground that will be felt for years to come. It’s great news for the Arctic and for everyone fighting against extreme fossil fuel projects,” said Travis Nichols, Greenpeace spokesman. “This is the right move for President Obama to secure his climate legacy through one of the most vulnerable places on Earth, but he can still do more by using his authority to withdraw the Arctic Ocean from future offshore oil drilling.”
For more on this, read the article from ThinkProgress titled: “Obama Administration Cancels Oil Drilling Lease Sales in Arctic Ocean.“