EDF Applauds President Obama’s Decision to Close Arctic and Atlantic Waters to Offshore Oil and Gas Development

Statement of Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund – December 20, 2016

December 20, 2016
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

“We applaud the President’s decision to provide lasting protection for critical ocean ecosystems in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. EDF has long believed there are places that should not be opened to new fossil fuel development, including U.S. national parks and wilderness areas, the waters off the U.S. Atlantic coast, and the Arctic Ocean. Similarly, Canada’s announcement that it will freeze oil and gas leasing in its Arctic waters for at least the next five years is a very positive step.

“The Atlantic waters now being closed to drilling are home to globally important marine life and biodiversity, and they generate billions of dollars from tourism, recreation, fisheries, and other economic activity. It makes no sense to put these environmentally sensitive and economically valuable resources at risk. The Arctic Ocean is also home to some of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. There would be no plausible cleanup in Arctic waters if environmental disaster were to strike. And there is no serious climate scenario under which Arctic resources are viable for development by any country. 

“These special places should remain off limits to offshore fossil fuel development, and we’re grateful to President Obama for taking this bold step.”

            - Fred Krupp, president, Environmental Defense Fund   

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