How long will Obama’s ban on Arctic offshore drilling last?

In one of his last major move while in office, President Barack Obama enacted a five-year ban on new exploration for oil and natural gas in Arctic waters.

The ban, announced Friday, is part of the Department of the Interior’s 2017 – 2022 plan for energy development in federal waters, which also blocks exploration in the less-economically viable Alaska and the Atlantic waters, and instead limits new exploration to other US waters, including the Gulf of Mexico.

“The plan focuses on lease sales in the best places — those with highest resource potential, lowest conflict, and established infrastructure — and removes regions that are simply not right to lease,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement Friday. “Given the unique and challenging Arctic environment and industry’s declining interest in the area, forgoing lease sales in the Arctic is the right path forward.” READ MORE.