Obama administration bars new oil, gas exploration off Alaska

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2016 1:04 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Friday blocked the sale of new permits to drill oil and gas in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska, in a win for environmental groups that had fought against development in the fragile region.

In releasing the 2017-2022 plan, the Department of the Interior also limited leasing in the Cook Inlet off Alaska. Environmental activists have battled drilling in Alaska to protect wildlife, such as whales and walruses, and as part of a broader movement to keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground.

President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican who takes office on Jan. 20, has vowed to open up resources to petroleum development and could take steps to reverse the decision.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)