Keep it in the ground

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, December 22nd, 2016 - 51 comments
Categories: climate change, energy, global warming, peak oil, us politics - Tags: , ,

Some leaders are not all completely bonkers.

President Obama will use his executive authority to permanently block offshore drilling in large swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic.

Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau will also halt all oil and gas exploration in its own Arctic waters.

Obama’s move includes 115 million acres in the Arctic, and 3.8 million acres in the north and mid-Atlantic ocean.

Great to see two world leaders showing it’s far better to keep oil in the ground.

Meanwhile, Rex Tillertson the head of ExxonMobil (largest oil company in the world) is to be soon-President Trump’s Secretary of State.

51 comments on “Keep it in the ground”

  1. Bill 1

    I saw this story and wondered whether such a move was always in the pipeline (s’cuse the pun), or whether it was a ‘knee jerk’ response to Trump.

    Unintended consequences and all of that…

    Had Clinton been about to move her shit into the White House, would Obama have used his Executive Authority for this?

    In other words, did the prospect of a climate change denier as President just deliver more action on climate change (at least short term) than would have been the case if the prospective President was one who ‘accepted’ (to whatever degree) the reality of it?

  2. Tophat 3

    If Obama had of used his Executive Powers to establish this zone, Trump would just come into office and rescind it.
    So Obama used some 1953 law to establish the zone that would mean Trump has to fight this in the courts to turn it around.

    • Phil 3.1

      …Trump has to fight this in the courts to turn it around.

      You mean the supreme court?

      ‘cos that’s going to remain majority-GOP for quite some time to come and doesn’t seem like a particularly onerous impediment on Trump if he can be bothered challenging Obama’s move.

  3. red-blooded 4

    Obama’s had a shitty time as president, and I don’t admire all of his decisions, but he’s basically a good man and he must be desperate to protect his country (and our wider world) from the consequences of his people’s stupid decision to elect a moral void (and jackass) as the next president. Good on him for doing what he can.

    • Infused 4.1

      He’s basically done nothing. Of that which he has done, has been fucked up royally.

      • red-blooded 4.1.1

        “He’s basically done nothing.”

        Consider the circumstances of his presidency before you pass judgement. in the first 2 years, he had a Democratic House and Senate, and did significant things. Wikipedia describes it as “one of the most productive Congresses of recent time.” Legislation passed included anti-tobacco measures, improvements in provision of healthcare for children, attempts to deal with the housing crisis that was at the centre of the GFC, closing loopholes around selling guns at gunshows (a small step, but any anti-gun measure in the US is bloody hard-won)… The GFC (not his fault) and the Tea Party (again, predating Obama) combined to see the upswing in the Republican vote, with them taking the Senate and blocking pretty much everything from then on. He did get through the health care reforms, though. Again, not perfect, but again, in US terms pretty damn big.

        “Of that which he has done, has been fucked up royally.”

        Like the structure of that sentence..? Perhaps you could have done better?

        I didn’t claim Obama as a super-president, but it’s unfair to dismiss him as a fuck-up.

        • tc 4.1.1.1

          Good points, folks dont realise how neutered having a republican senate made him.

          He got obama care through by opening up the lobbyists to public viewing so punters could see how the games and tricks were about lining their pockets not looking after citizens, a masterstroke which swung it eventually.

          took a toll on him IMO as it was brutal and arduous process that trump will probably throw out being such a peoples president.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2

        Are you still pouting about war with North Korea? 😆

  4. Fisiani 5

    National has vowed to not allow drilling in the Arctic.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      are you just killing time here till the Boxing Day sales fizzy anus?

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        If you find it funny to misspell peoples pen names I suppose I should warn you that it is very dangerous to go Tiger Mounting, oh “Tiger Mounter”.

        • alwyn 5.1.1.1

          You should also consider that “Tiger Mounting” is illegal in this country.
          Bestiality is apparently illegal under mistreatment of animals laws.
          Better give it up old “Tiger Mounter”. There don’t you think that is as funny as you misspelling of Fisiani’s name?

    • There was any serious discussion of New Zealand drilling in the Arctic? Or did you mean the Antarctic? lol

  5. alwyn 6

    Does anyone know what, if any, are the restrictions on what the President can do by Executive Authority under this 1953 law?
    If he can, by fiat and without Congressional Authority lay down rules that a following President cannot cancel just as easily we would seem to have the seeds of a dictatorship being available.

    Suppose Trump, after he assumes the Presidential Office, choose to do something like the following.
    Could he simply, using his Executive Authority, open up all National Parks and Marine Reserves to unrestricted drilling for hydro-carbons. Then it would be open slather until such time as you could get a final Court ruling that it shouldn’t continue. He would also be able to have the Justice Department appeal any ruling that would stop it and continue to do so for years until it went through the Supreme Court.

    Will everyone who seems to favour what Obama has done be happy if Trump was, in exactly the same way to do the opposite.
    I always thought that the US Congress made the law. I didn’t think that a President, using Executive Privilege, could do anything he liked.

    • Tophat 6.1

      he’s utilising a law passed by congress 53 odd years back, here’s a link to the, ” Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953.” https://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/ocsla.htm
      That contains the answers to the rest of your questions.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        Thank you. I couldn’t find anything that said what the law was. I shall read it with interest, after dinner.

        • alwyn 6.1.1.1

          It is now totally clear. Of course this is a law that authorises his actions and was clearly written to provide the means for a President to ban all offshore drilling.
          Why has it taken them so long to realise it?

          I would have said you were joking with the reference if I hadn’t dealt with a number of very skilled lawyers over the years. They could find a reason for, or against, any action at all. What you linked to would, to them, be totally obvious in its intention to control drilling in ocean waters.
          They were the sort of people who could make the Queen in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ seem rational.

          One of the reasons I wish that lawyers did not get involved in frontline politics and become MPs.

          Please tell me you really are joking.

  6. red-blooded 7

    The link above related to a specific aspect of the Act. Here’s a more general one, and I think it’s perfectly clear that it was appropriate to use this law, which was designed to empower the US government to manage the offshore oil industry, including the Secretary for the Interior (more recently the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) taking responsibility for granting (or in this case not granting) permits to explore and extract oil.

    https://www.boem.gov/ocs-lands-act-history/

    It wasn’t hard to find this out, alwyn. Please tell me you weren’t just trying to spin this decision in a negative way.

    • alwyn 7.1

      It wasn’t the action, or this law for that matter that surprised me.
      It was finding that one President could make decisions of this kind that were basically irreversible. It is of course the opposite of the New Zealand convention that holds that one Government should not be able to bind its successor.
      The only case I had thought of in the US was the ability of a President to pardon someone.

  7. Richard McGrath 8

    Should we also leave all plants in the ground and refrain from eating them?

      • Richard McGrath 8.1.1

        Why not? Does the same principle not apply – i.e. humans should “respect” nature and leave it undisturbed,rather than “exploiting” it?

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          fuck mate, that’s pretty close to the stupidest comment of the year. It’s 2016, can you seriously not tell the difference between a renewal, non-polluting resource and non-renewable, polluting one? Even if you don’t give a shit about respecting nature in its own right (which I’m fairly sure you don’t), there’s still the small matter of not shitting in one’s own nest.

    • ^ R. M

      L0L! – he dumb !!!

      🙂

  8. ropata 9

    20 years ago the USA was the world’s industrial powerhouse and leader in cutting edge science. Now they have elected a science denier to President, when they should be leading the world in low carbon tech.

    • Richard McGrath 9.1

      So you’re now a SCIENCE denier if you are sceptical about the AGW hypothesis? Wow, this beast just keeps growing!

      [you are starting to look trolly in this thread Richard. I suggest you have a think about what you are doing. – weka]

      • Macro 9.1.1

        So you’re now a SCIENCE denier if you are sceptical about the AGW hypothesis?
        Basically: Yes! You are denying science, to be skeptical about the AGW hypothesis. The AGW hypothesis is built on well established physics, and over a hundred years of world wide observations and data, from a variety of sources, support the theory.
        To be skeptical of AGW based on increasing GHG’s, one needs to rewrite quantum mechanics. No one has at this stage been able to do that – nor would such a rewrite fit with the raft of observations that support the existing theory.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.2

        It’s a hoax invented by the Chinese to make you look like a dickhead, Dick.

        • Blue Eye 9.1.2.1

          Is Nicky going to be a coward throughout all of this, and not take out his greatest rival, david?

          Is Nicky going to “step up” and take a “leadership” role or is he going to bow out, because of “the risk”?

          Is Nicky going to stop this ridiculous nonsense and let a female be “President” knowing it secures him the Throne?

          Is Nicky going to let the one “he wants” (“his love”) slip through his fingers all because of stubbornness?

          Is he going to pass up on brilliant opportunities, because of fear, misogyny and stupidity?

          I thought Nicky was “better” than david?

          We shall see…..

          And if Nicky is to be my husband, I don’t want him hiding from me, in the form of a human – I expect his “true self” to be my husband, in and out of the bedroom, and I am looking forward to it!

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