• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 57s

Obama blocks new oil, gas drilling in Arctic Ocean

By Shannon Ballard/AP 9:26 AM November 18, 2016

The Obama Administration is blocking new oil and gas drilling in the Artic Ocean, citing the regions fragile and unique ecosystem.

It’s a victory for environmentalists such as Rick Steiner, who said industrial activity in the icy waters could hurt marine mammals.

“Even if nothing goes wrong, the risks and impacts are unacceptable,” Steiner said. “The last thing we want to do is put more risk and impact into this struggling ecosystem.”

A 5-year offshore drilling plan, announced on Friday, blocks the planned sale of new oil and gas drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas from 2017 to 2022.

The plan will allow drilling in Alaska’s Cook Inlet to go forward.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said he didn’t see this coming.

“It means we won’t be able to explore offshore,” Walker said.

He’s been collaborating with different Alaska groups and recently met with the Department of Interior about how the Arctic could be developed responsibly.

According to Walker, the folks in Washington D.C. ignored the wishes of Alaska and that it will result in a major blow to the state’s economy.

“We became a state under the understanding that we’d be able to fund our state through the responsible development of our resources,” Walker said. “When they take it off the table and don’t allow us to have access to it, how do they expect us to have an economy without access to our resources?”

The Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) reports that 75 percent of Alaska citizens want there to be of offshore exploration and development.

AOGA Environmental Council, Joshua Kindred, hopes a new presidential administration will provide a path forward.

“We do think maybe in a year, a year or two of planning from BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) and the Department of the Interior will allow for these lease sales to be reintroduced into the 5-year program,” Kindred said.

It’s happened before.

“New administrations do it all the time. Bristol Bay has been kicked back and forth and back and forth,” Steiner said.

And it could happen again.

KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter

Latest Stories

  • Suspect’s struggle over gun with Anchorage police leads to attempted-murder charges

    by Chris Klint on Jul 21, 8:51

    A man who Anchorage police say fired a gun during an altercation with two officers earlier this week has been arrested on a series of charges, including attempted murder. Court records show Pagopago Beefcake Lelilio, 29, also facing seven other counts of assault, weapons misconduct and reckless endangerment in the Wednesday encounter. A criminal complaint […]

  • Hawaii starting campaign to help people plan for North Korea attack

    by CBS News on Jul 21, 7:42

    HONOLULU — The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is kicking off an educational campaign aimed at helping residents and visitors figure out what to do if the state is targeted in a nuclear missile attack from North Korea, reports CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB. The agency said the threat to the islands from the rogue nation is […]

  • Dirt at burned Juneau playground safe, city engineers say

    by Associated Press on Jul 21, 7:32

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – City engineers have determined the dirt at a Juneau playground that burned down in April is not contaminated. The Juneau Empire reported Thursday that after crews finished cleaning up the Twin Lakes Playground, city engineers tested the dirt and found it to be safe. The next step is reseeding the area […]

  • News

    1 dead in Glenn Highway wreck near Sutton

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 21, 6:24

    A driver was killed Thursday night during a single-vehicle crash on the Glenn Highway near Sutton, which remains under investigation by Alaska State Troopers. A brief online dispatch about the crash at Mile 68 of the Glenn, released early Friday, said troopers responded to the scene at about 10:15 p.m. Thursday. “Investigation revealed the vehicle […]

  • On-Air

    Reality Check: Sen. Murkowski vote to not repeal Obamacare

    by John Tracy on Jul 20, 22:58

    Senator Lisa Murkowski was one of three who said she would not vote to repeal Obamacare without a plan to replace it. Her party accused her of breaking the promise she made to repeal Obamacare. In this week’s Reality Check, John Tracy says Senator Murkowski is one of the few Senate Republicans keeping their promise […]

  • News

    Linda McMahon visits Alaska on her ‘Ignite’ tour

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 20, 22:29

    When you think of Alaska you may think oil — not so, says one of President Donald Trump’s cabinet members, who’s in Alaska touring small businesses. Linda McMahon is the head of the U.S. small business administration. Thursday, she visited 49th State Brewing Company in Anchorage. It’s part of her “Ignite” tour, visiting all 68 offices […]

  • News

    Woman thinks people who helped her get to the hospital likely stole her car

    by Steffi Lee on Jul 20, 22:24

    Jessica Clark says the people who helped her with her medical emergency, were likely the ones who drove off with her car. “I’m just grateful they took me to the hospital when they did,” she said. Clark said she pulled over late Tuesday night near Boniface Parkway when she started to realize she needed medical […]

  • News

    Anchorage could face $20 million deficit next year, city departments told to prepare for cuts

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jul 20, 21:44

    Anchorage could be looking at a budget deficit as high as $20 million next year, according to Municipal Management and Budget Director Lance Wilber. He said the number is still a guess, but city departments are being told to prepare for cuts. Wilber said he’s asked each department, with the exception of “first responders” (police […]