Greens urge Obama to block new Arctic, Atlantic drilling

Greens urge Obama to block new Arctic, Atlantic drilling
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Key environmental groups are pushing President Obama to block any potential offshore drilling operations in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. 

In a Tuesday letter to Obama, the groups said the world “needs leadership on policies that help limit global warming by addressing fossil fuel supply," starting with public lands and waters.

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Blocking drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic, they said, would “present a key opportunity for you to complete major first steps on this front before leaving office.”

"No existing oil drilling jobs are at stake,” said the letter, signed by the heads of seven environmental groups.

“The current lack of infrastructure for drilling either oceans’ outer continental shelves means oil production — if feasible at all — would be decades away, arriving too late to fuel America’s transition to a low carbon economy. It would also require massive public and private investments that should instead go into clean energy.”

The heads of the Natural Resources Defense Council, NextGen Climate, League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, Environment America and Defenders of Wildlife signed on to the letter. 

The Obama administration hopes to finalize a five-year offshore drilling plan before the end of his term. The proposed plan would block drilling in the Atlantic Ocean despite an earlier proposal to allow operations there, and it would allow up to two drilling lease sales in the Arctic Ocean. 

Oil industry groups have urged the Obama administration to at least allow drilling in the Arctic as part of the plan.