Judge Overturns Trump Plan to Open Arctic and Atlantic Oceans for Oil Leasing

A U.S. District Court judge overturned an order issued by Donald Trump that would have undone President Barack Obama’s environmental policies in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, according to Reuters. Obama had prohibited oil leasing in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea, part of the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea and the Atlantic Ocean off the U.S. East Coast. Trump intended to undo those protective measures, effectively opening up the Arctic areas to gas and oil leasing as part of an “energy dominance” initiative in 2017. Judge Sharon Gleason on Friday ruled that Trump’s order is “unlawful,” writing that it was a violation of the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. It was not immediately clear if the Trump administration planned to appeal the decision.