• 3 minutes Nucelar Deal Is Dead? Iran Distances Itself Further From ND, Alarming Russia And France
  • 5 minutes Don Jr. Tweets name Ukraine Whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella. Worked for CIA during Obama Administration, Hold over to Trump National Security Counsel under Gen McCallister, more . . . .
  • 9 minutes Shale pioneer Chesepeak will file bankruptcy soon. FINALLY ! The consolidation begins
  • 12 minutes China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 6 hours EU has already lost the Trump vs. EU Trade War
  • 14 hours Judge Orders Trump To Release Tax Returns
  • 2 hours Who writes this stuff? "Crude Prices Swing Between Gains, Losses"
  • 1 hour Climate Change Consensus Shifts in Wind, But Gas Is Still the Right Move
  • 3 hours World oil demand will keep growing until 2030, climate-damaging emissions longer, says IEA
  • 9 hours Shale Gas News – November 9, 2019
  • 11 hours ''Err ... but Trump ...?'' #thedonkeystays
  • 5 hours Does .001 of Atmosphere Control Earth's Climate?!
  • 15 hours Offshore SE Asia: Offshore OFS Could Get Major Boost in SE Asia
  • 4 hours Atty General Barr likely subpeona so called whistleblower and "leaker" Eric Ciaramella
  • 13 hours The lies and follies of the "cry wolf" enviros: No more fire in the kitchen: Cities are banning natural gas in homes to save the planet
  • 15 hours Saudi Aramco IPO Will Not Save Kingdom
  • 5 hours Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukraine Oil & Gas exploration company Burisma, and 2020 U.S. election shenanigans
  • 15 hours China's Renewables Boom Hits the Wall
A Bear’s Guide To Oil Markets

A Bear’s Guide To Oil Markets

2019 hasn’t been the year…

The Keystone Oil Spill Effect

The Keystone Oil Spill Effect

The Keystone oil spill led…

Easy Win For Obama In Alaskan Oil Decision

Three things tend to dominate the character of Alaska: Its exquisite environment, its rich fishing industry and, more recently, its abundance of fossil fuels. President Obama has chosen to support the first two at the expense of the third.

On Dec. 16, Obama said he was removing Bristol Bay and neighboring waters from consideration for oil leases. The bay is situated on the state’s southwestern coast just north of the long Alaska peninsula that tapers down to become the Aleutian Islands. It covers 52,000 square miles, about the size of Florida.

Bristol Bay has supported native Alaskans for centuries, teeming with many forms of sea life, including the endangered North Pacific right whale, killer whales, beluga, halibut, crab, as well as the one of the world’s largest populations of sockeye salmon.

Related: Is The Arctic Dream Dead?

Obama said the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953 authorizes him, as president, to remove the bay from leasing to oil and gas companies for exploration and development. Only a subsequent president could lift the ban. A White House statement said that under a five-year program that ends in 2017, 15 potential lease sales are scheduled in neighboring areas of the North Aleutian Basin.

“It’s something that’s too precious for us to be putting out to the highest bidder,” Obama said in an online video message. "It supports about $2 billion in the commercial fishing industry. It supplies America with 40 percent of its wild-caught seafood.”

Oil leases for Bristol Bay had been sold there three decades ago, but they were bought back in 1995 for $95 million, at taxpayer expense, after the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound off Alaska’s southeastern coast. However, energy companies have shown little interest in any of the leases that will become available in 2017.

Marilyn Heiman, the US Arctic director for the Pew Charitable Trusts, told the Associated Press, that many fisheries around the world are not being properly maintained, but Alaskans are managing Bristol Bay very well, making it one of the most productive sources of seafood and thus deserving of government protection.

The World Wildlife Fund agreed. “The administration’s decision to protect Bristol Bay is a huge win for both Bristol Bay fishermen and the region’s coastal communities,” said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program.

Related: The Grand Oil Party Takes Washington by Storm

Alaska’s governor, Bill Walker, a Republican-turned-independent, said he’d work cooperatively with the federal government on development of oil and gas in his state, but agreed that “Bristol Bay … is not that place.”

Even Obama’s official political opposition in the state had little negative to say about the decision, as Sen. Lisa Murkowsky, the Alaska Republican, made clear.

“Given the lack of interest by industry and the public divide over allowing oil and gas exploration in this area, I am not objecting to this decision at this time,” Murkowski said in a statement. “I think we all recognize that these are some of our state’s richest fishing waters.”

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Roland on December 19 2014 said:
    This watershed and its huge salmon run has *just* been saved from likely destruction by a proposed copper mine. Very timely decision. And as the oil/gas industry gets safer over time, the resource grows in value as it sits safe in the ground.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play