North

U.S. judge says groups can sue to keep Arctic, Atlantic drill ban

Environmental groups say presidents can permanently withdraw areas but the law makes no provision to reopen areas.

Lawsuit challenges Trump's reversal of ban on petroleum drilling in most of the Arctic Ocean

A Shell floating drilling barge off Kodiak Island in Alaska's Kiliuda Bay, in 2013. Environmental groups say presidents can permanently withdraw offshore areas from drilling but the law makes no provision to reopen areas. (James Brooks/Kodiak Daily Mirror/Associated Press)

A lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's reversal of a ban on petroleum drilling in most of the Arctic Ocean and Atlantic underwater canyons can move forward.

U.S. federal court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled Monday in Anchorage, Alaska, that environmental groups can sue to keep the ban in place.

Former President Barack Obama withdrew Arctic waters under provisions of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Obama also banned exploration in 5,937 square miles of Atlantic Ocean canyon complexes.

Environmental groups say presidents can permanently withdraw areas but the law makes no provision to reopen areas.

Trump in April ordered an Interior Department review of the ban with the goal of exploration in the offshore areas.

Gleason ruled the plaintiffs have standing in the case and it can move forward.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.