As Barack Obama prepares to hand over the keys of the White House to Donald Trump it seems he’s doing his darnedest to ensure that something of his legacy survives.
His most recent piece of legislature will ban all offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and on the Atlantic Seaboard indefinitely and will present quite the legal obstacle for President Trump in January.
The agreement, which has been made alongside the Canadian government’s own sweeping ban, will help to protect some of the Earth’s most vulnerable environments, The Independent reports.
A White House spokesperson has said:
President Obama and [Canadian] Prime Minister Trudeau are proud to launch actions ensuring a strong, sustainable, and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem, with low-impact shipping, science-based management of marine resources, and free from the future risks of offshore oil and gas activity.
To get the law in place quickly Mr Obama used a provision of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which was passed to protect coral reefs and life in marine sanctuaries.
Environmentalists have praised President Obama’s actions as ‘heroic’ while also criticising President-elect Trump’s cabinet, which has been accused of being linked to big polluters.
The president of NextGen Climate Tom Steyer said:
As Donald Trump stacks his Cabinet with Big Oil cronies and polluters, President Obama has acted to protect our oceans, our air, and our climate for our coastal communities and future generations of Americans.
President Obama’s impressive legacy of climate action stands in stark contrast to President-elect Donald Trump, who only cares about climate change when it affects his golf courses.
Meanwhile the American Petroleum Institute has criticised Mr Obama’s action saying the act will ‘weaken national security, destroy good-paying jobs and could make energy less affordable for consumers’.
They’ve also said they look forward to working with Donald in the future to overturn Mr Obama’s legacy.
President-elect Trump has been pretty outspoken in his controversial environmental views including his belief that ‘global warming is a Chinese hoax’ and has vowed to roll back many of Mr Obama’s major environmental policies.
This includes withdrawing America from the Paris global climate change agreement, where nations promised to lower their emissions significantly.