|President Obama in Kotzebue, Alaska.|
US President Barack Obama on Friday declared portions of the Arctic off-limits for oil exploration for the next five years, dealing a blow to Republican efforts to expand fossil fuel extraction.
The decision means new oil and gas exploration leasing in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea will not be considered until after 2022.
"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," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement.
The US government made a similar announcement in March, when it removed the Atlantic Ocean from the five-year road map.
Environmental groups hailed Friday's decision as historic and coming at a key moment, as President-elect Donald Trump has promised to expand drilling for oil and to revive the American coal industry.
Apparently the decision pissed off Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski which proves that it is a good one.
However it is also a fact that if Donald Trump decides to do away with his ban it is within his power to do so, though he will receive significant resistance from environmental groups and Democrats.
Even with only weeks remaining of his term President Obama is still doing what he can to protect us, and our planet.