Credo Action

Tell President Obama: Permanently ban all offshore drilling in federal waters

Sign the petition

The petition to President Obama reads:

"Permanently ban all new offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters under your authority in Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act before you leave office."

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    Tell President Obama: Permanently ban all offshore drilling in federal waters

    While Donald Trump begins to pack his cabinet with oil industry shills and climate change deniers, we still have one last shot at putting a stop to offshore drilling in U.S. waters before President Obama leaves office.

    Under his authority granted to him by an obscure section in a 1953 law, the president has the power to ban any and all new offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters.1

    President Obama can stop Trump and his fossil fuel cronies from drilling in federal waters for good — but he must act now before he leaves office.

    Tell President Obama: Permanently ban all offshore drilling in federal waters.

    Under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Department of the Interior is has the authority to lease offshore waters to companies for oil and gas exploration. While the fossil fuel industry and their lobbyists decry using this section as a political move, this provision has been used in the last 60 years to limit oil and gas exploration by a number of presidents on both sides, including Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and most recently Obama to protect certain important offshore areas. Legal experts are uncertain that an incoming President Trump will even have the authority to overturn or revoke a ban.2

    The mounting pressure on President Obama is already making a major difference. For years, CREDO activists and our climate allies have been calling on the president to ban drilling in the Arctic, and we scored a massive victory recently when the Obama administration announced that it would keep parts of the Arctic free from drilling.3 Now, despite his failure to put a stop to fracking in his state, California Gov. Jerry Brown is calling on the president to ban all drilling off the coast of California.

    President Obama should and must go further and ban new leases in all federal waters. Trump’s potential oil industry cabinet — including Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry — and their billionaire fossil fuel allies are preparing to unlock swaths of offshore leases. In the waning days on his presidency, President Obama must use his legal authority to protect the planet and the American people from dangerous and harmful offshore drilling once and for all.

    Tell President Obama: Permanently ban all offshore drilling in federal waters.

    Thanks for all you do.

    References

    1. Emily Yehle, “Obama could use obscure provision to permanently ban leasing,” E&E News, Sept. 27, 2016.
    2. Paul Rogers, “Offshore oil: Gov. Jerry Brown asks Obama for permanent ban on new drilling off California,” The Mercury News, Dec. 13, 2016.
    3. Esther Whieldon, “Obama cuts Arctic waters from five-year drilling plan,” POLITICO, Nov. 18, 2016.