Obama Removes Additional Alaska Waters from Future Leasing

In an Executive Order issued today, President Obama indefinitely withdrew 40,300 square miles offshore Alaska from future oil and natural gas leasing.  He specifically withdrew the Norton Basin Planning Area, which includes an estimated mean 600 million barrels of oil equivalent, and certain lease blocks in the St. Matthew-Hall Planning Area.  The order also establishes a 112,300 square mile “Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area,” which the White House said is being created “for the purpose of focusing a locally-tailored collection of protections related to oil and gas, shipping, and fishing.”

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