Outgoing President Barack Obama has, as one of his final acts as President has removed 3.8 million acres in the Atlantic Ocean from being able to be mined in the future. The move is one of several that the outgoing President has made in the final throes of his leadership. As he tries to leave America with a legacy of clean energy. The move was pushed by locals in the potentially affected areas, who did not want their livelihoods ruined by drilling in the area.
It is hoped that Obama’s use of a provision in a law from 1953 will be able to make the move permanent, though it will be heavily disputed by incoming President Donald Trump, who with his business links, and recent cabinet appointments is a big supporter of oil and will almost certainly try to overturn it. But due to the way it has been done, only a Federal court will be able to overturn it, not Trump himself. As he’s aware of Trump’s views he also managed to push an agreement on Climate change known as the Paris agreement through before he hands over to Trump, as Trump had vowed to block it.
His successor is known climate change denier, and has claimed it as a hoax. He has also attacked Barack Obama’s position and claimed that environmental legislation costs jobs. The blocking of drilling will be a major blow to Trump, who seemingly had based his economic model for the future of the country on the drilling of oil. But he may be going against the grain, as America is building towards a renewable future. Car manufacturers in their droves are turning away from fuel, as most new research and development money goes in to making electric vehicles cheaper and more efficient.
The question in the long run is will America need all that oil? As most of the world slowly turns away from fossil fuels is Mr Trump trying to take America backwards? His predecessor certainly thinks so, and is doing as much as possible in the meantime from stopping that from happening. Though Obama has been criticised for his potential abuse of the law, and pushing ahead with little support.
It’s not uncommon for an outgoing President to try and leave a legacy. It’s also known that Bill Clinton used the same law to remove large swathes of area from drilling before he left office, though some of this area was put back in once George W. Bush took office, and many people suspect the same thing will happen with Trump.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.