BREAKING: Obama Abuses Executive Power to Stop Trump
In a sad, last ditch, probably meaningless effort to cement his environmentalist legacy, Barack Obama used his pen and his phone to abuse executive power one last time. As the LA Times describes this unprecedented power grab:
Invoking a rarely used provision in federal law, the Obama administration on Tuesday announced a permanent ban on offshore drilling in broad parts of the Arctic and Atlantic coasts — a sweeping and controversial move that will help secure the president’s environmental legacy even as critics vowed to reverse it.
The ban relies on the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, which says the president “may, from time to time, withdraw” federal waters from oil and gas development that are not already leased. It was announced as part of a joint action with Canada, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made long-term, though not permanent, commitments to protect the Arctic from drilling.
Obama cited the Arctic’s “unique ecosystem,” the risk of damage from a spill, the high cost of working in the remote and frigid region and concerns about climate change.
“It would take decades to fully develop the production infrastructure necessary for any large-scale oil and gas leasing production in the region – at a time when we need to continue to move decisively away from fossil fuels,” the president said in a written statement.
This is a totally silly statement, if only because we can't know what global energy markets will look like. It presumes that developing nations, even beyond China and India, will sacrifice the fastest route out of poverty- cheap fossil fuel energy- to appease the global climate change industry. That's likely not the case, and as long as alterantive forms of energy continue to be nothing more than low energy output money pits for taxpayer dollars, fossil fuels will play a major role in our economy. Practically speaking, a world where the United States can take the place of tyrant run energy producing nations who use their natural resources as a weapon against their enemies- is a better world.
It's also unlikely to hold. Obama likely knows this, and like most decisions he makes, this is likely more about preserving his legacy amongst liberals than it is about actually doing anything to solve our problems.