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Obama closes arctic coast to drilling.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it will remove the Arctic Ocean from the offshore leasing program for the next five years, between 2017-22. The move is designed to protect areas containing wildlife habitat from new leasing activities. "Hitting the pause button on offshore drilling in the Arctic is exactly the right thing to do" says David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society, New York.

"Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business, and removing the Arctic Ocean from the offshore leasing plan gives everyone time to think hard about how well water and oil mix. The [outgoing] Obama Administration understands that the productivity of our oceans is jeopardized when we drill in the wrong places. We should be thinking first about protecting ocean life and quickly moving to cleaner sources of energy."

There are 10 globally significant bird areas in the Arctic Ocean and along its shoreline in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas lease areas. The Chukchi and

Beaufort seas also are home to polar bears, walrus, four species of ice seals, and several species of whales.

"The Arctic Ocean contains vital ecological areas that are critical for the survival of many birds and wildlife species," stresses Nils Warnock, executive director for Audubon Alaska. 'This prudent five-year program prevents new leasing in this crucial habitat at a time of unprecedented ecological change in the Arctic."

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Title Annotation:Your Life
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:0ARCT
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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