Obama Enacts “Permanent” Ban on Arctic Oil Drilling

Obama and Trump

President Obama. By Official White House Photo by Pete SouzaP120612PS-0463 (direct link), Public Domain, Link. President-elect Trump. By Michael Vadon – →This file has been extracted from another file: Donald Trump August 19, 2015.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

h/t Robert from oz – President Obama has stepped up efforts to sabotage Trump’s mandate from the American people, this time by attempting to mess up Trump’s commitment to open public land to oil and gas exploration.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Obama Places Sweeping Ban on Offshore Drilling in Atlantic and Arctic Waters

by AMANDA SAKUMA

In the final stretch of his term President Barack Obama is implementing new environmental protections that stand to thwart Donald Trump’s agenda on oil and gas extraction in ways that may prove difficult for the president-elect to roll back.

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it will place an indefinite ban on offshore oil and gas drilling across large swaths of Atlantic and Arctic waters. The actions come in conjunction with news that Canada will implement a sweeping ban of its own, launching a set of actions to be reviewed every five years.

“President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau are proud to launch actions ensuring a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem, with low-impact shipping, science based management of marine resources, and free from the future risks of offshore oil and gas activity,” the White House said in a joint statement with the Canadian leader.

The latest action hinges on a provision of the 1953 the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a law designed to protect coral reefs and marine sanctuaries. The seldom used measure allows the executive to permanently freeze offshore drilling in specified regions. Senior Obama administration officials stress that there is no provision in the law providing the president authority draw those actions back.

Environmental groups hailed the announcement as a major victory and symbolic milestone in ending offshore drilling in a region where it is exceedingly difficult to prevent and respond to potential oil spills.

“We are confident that this is an announcement that will stick. We have both the law and public opinion on our side,” Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said.

There is currently no precedent for a president to hit rewind on bans against offshore drilling in the name of environmental protections. And because the actions are not up for review for another five years, advocacy groups say they are optimistic Trump will not be able to reverse the tide.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/obama-places-sweeping-ban-offshore-drilling-n698461

I’ve never heard of such a graceless act of contempt for the will of the American people. Opening public land to oil and gas was a central promise of President-elect Trump’s campaign manifesto. Trump won the electoral college, by a wide margin.

But President Obama doesn’t care about the will of the American people – all he seems to care about is hurting the voters who rejected his legacy.

Trump will be able to overturn this nonsense, but the effort required to undo this senseless regulatory vandalism will waste Trump’s time – precious time Trump could have used to fix the US tax code, cut the Federal deficit, drain the climate research swamp, sort out Common Core, fix Obamacare, or sort out the shambolic Department of Veterans Affairs.

Ordinary people will suffer because of Obama’s spiteful attempt to thwart the will of the American people.

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309 thoughts on “Obama Enacts “Permanent” Ban on Arctic Oil Drilling

    • While I’m not a hard core birther. It may be time to look into whether he really could be president. If he was smart, he would have had Joe Biden sign duplicate orders, just in case the truth is not on Obama’s side.

      • Go for it. The AGW crowd has moved heaven and earth to misrepresent the climate situation, so it’s conceivable that Obama’s crowd is doing the same. In both cases the stakes amount to Trillions of dollars.

        Most people don’t know that the birther issue hinges on the fact that Hawaii used to issue birth certificates for children born to Hawaiian residents, who were not in Hawaii at the time of birth. I believe this was because of the large number of US military on tour in Asia. The only way to know for sure is to examine the original, paper, long form certificate.

        Sheriff Arpaio’s recent birther update is timed perfectly to segue into a Trump supported Justice Dept investigation.

    • (C) such States, and through such States, affected local governments, are entitled to an opportunity to participate, to the extent consistent with the national interest, in the policy and planning decisions made by the Federal Government relating to exploration for, and development and production of, minerals of the outer Continental Shelf.

      If Obama denied Alaska an adequate opportunity to participate in policy and planning decisions, his puerile “pen and phone” stunt should be vulnerable to legal challenge, and court recession..

      • The mere existence of a “law that cannot be challenged” flies in the face of our constitutional construction and original intent. No laws, including the constitution, are immutable. To enact such a law invites SCOTUS intervention. We will and can make some laws intentionally difficult to circumvent, but none are without the capability of change.
        It may require an rewrite of the law to insert provisions to permit it to be amended.
        But, that’s what congress is for.

      • The idea that the president can write an EO that is not subject to being undone by another EO is, well, “Unprecedented,” as the climate crisis crew likes to say.

        What is said to be law, that is, an Executive Order, rather flies in the face of the Constitution anyway. It does not, and no act of congress can give, the executive branch the authority to create law. The Constitution requires law to be created in the House, as in House of Representatives, not the White House, be presented to and pass the Senate, and move on to be signed into law by the executive branch. The only way congress could give the executive branch that authority is through Constitutional amendment, and only the people can make that happen. There is no amendment that authorizes the president to create law.

        Also, since this is involves cooperation with a foreign nation, this would have to be ratified by the Senate. Obama has played fast and easy with the rules, but that doesn’t mean they still aren’t enforceable. It will depend, instead, on what the “agenda” of the Senate is going to be – to support the outgoing democrat or the incoming Republican. It is time that the party supports its President.

  1. So does the OCSLA cover the area up to 3 miles offshore or only beyond 3 miles?
    Seems to be a possible loophole either way…a loophole large enough to do some (horizontal) directional drilling through

    • The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it will place an indefinite ban on offshore oil and gas drilling across large swaths of Atlantic and Arctic waters

      Obama ignored Immigration and Border Protection Laws of the US when he ignored the actions of “sanctuary cities” in their protection of illegal aliens …….. so all that President Trump has to do is tell his Secretaries and/or Agency/Department Directors to ignore Obummers “ban” on offshore oil and gas drilling in US Coastal waters.

      • Liberals are relying on the Senate filibuster to prevent Congress from re-writing laws to upend these last minute actions. To the extent that they do so, they add weight to the argument that the Senate filibuster rule (already seriously modified by the Democrats when they deemed it necessary) should be done away with in its present form. Then only 50 votes, plus a tie-breaker by the Senate President, VP Pence, will enable the GOP to write whatever laws, and changes in law, that they desire, subject only to rejection by the Supreme Court for unconstitutionality.

        I say, keep pushing libs, keep pushing. There’s a straw somewhere in your quiver that will break the camel’s back.

    • Under section 1341, it says:

      The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.

      It does NOT say he can’t rescind the withdrawal. “Everything not forbidden is permitted.”

      • Everything not forbidden is permitted.
        =================
        exactly. Obama must have signed something to invoke the section 1341 clause. Trump need only rescind the document Obama signed.

        What the Press has ignored is that the important thing is not the law itself, but rather the document that allowed Obama to turn the law “on”. Which is likely an Executive Order of some kind. Which Trump can cancel at his pleasure. Once the order is cancelled, the land is no longer removed, because there is no longer any document signed by the President enabling the land to be removed.

        Once the order is rescinded, there is no document saying that the land has been withdrawn. So if an official says “the President withdrew the Land”, any company wishing to drill can simply say “show us the order”, and the official will not be able to produce the order because it was rescinded. The courts would laugh at any official that tried to use a rescinded Presidential Order as justification for anything.

      • Obama doesn’t care if this sticks. He is building credibility for his next position. He want’s to be Secretary-General of the United Nations. His goal all along has been to diminish the power of the US and position the UN as the world governing power

      • If Trump is smart, he’ll already have a team reviewing every one of Obama’s presidential orders and preparing a single presidential order to rescind all of the bad ones.

      • Citizens from countries with a permanent seat on the security council are not permitted to be Secretary General.
        Of course, leftists are big on just ignoring any law that is inconvenient, or Obama can give up his US citizenship.

      • Mark W

        I wonder how long it would take Obama to prove his birth certificate was a fake so he could prove he isn’t really a citizen and can then run for Secretary General?

        Ha wouldn’t that be a joke!

      • @ ferdberple

        “Everything not forbidden is permitted”

        Not hardly.

        It is actually the converse WRT the powers of the federal govt., to undo something it has done.

        “everything not permitted is impossible” is about the long and short of it.

        If there is no process under current law to “re-instate” leasable land that has been withdrawn — it is literally impossible under current law.

        Can Congress remedy the deficiency? Certainly.

      • @ DJH

        completely WRONG

        Here is an example — Virginia Law provides a formula for restitution for wrongful imprisonment. The formula provides for about $800,000 in restitution for a particular person (Mr. Haynesworth).

        Virginia lawmakers believe he should get more, but in order to pay him more than statute they have to enact a piece of special legislation.

        FYI — nowhere in the VA statute that provides the formula is there any verbiage that prohibits the State from paying more — the fact is that the State can only do what the law compels or permits.

        https://vacode.org/2016/8.01/3/18.2/8.01-195.11/

      • @ Bob boder – December 21, 2016 at 8:44 am

        I wonder how long it would take Obama to prove his birth certificate was a fake so he could prove he isn’t really a citizen and can then run for Secretary General?

        My guess is, bout two (2) hours, maybe three (3).

        All Obummer would have to do is “authorize” the release of his Harvard University records, specifically his …… Application for “Special Needs” Student Enrollment …… or is it Enrollment Application for “Special Needs” Student.

    • All waters from shoreline up to the territorial limit. The text mentions the Department of Energy (est. 1977), so that limit would be 200 miles, not 1953’s 3 miles..

      • (a) Withdrawal of unleased lands by President: The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.

        There is no specification that withdrawn lands may not be reinstated as leasable by a President without approval from Congress. The Secretary of the Interior has primary power to issue and regulate leases.

        This may imply that President Trump can reinstate leasable territory solely through administrative action upon finding that it serves the national interest.

      • @ilfpm

        If the law does not provide for reinstatement of lands — they cannot be.

        That’s how laws work.

        The law may be amended to allow for re-instatement (unless it was passed with a clause that precludes amendment, and only allows repeal), or repealed.

        A new law may be enacted that is at odds with the current law — meaning almost certainly an injunction until SCOTUS sorts out the mess.

        What is not in question: POTUS Trump cannot use an Executive Order, because POTUS Obama executed a statutory clause, not an executive order.

      • karl==> the law is silent on reinstatement of leasing for drilling. Arguing that as there is no explicit procedure for reversal, it cannot be done will probably be the positon in court of Greenpeace, NRDC, et al. However, the greens will be the ones suing to overcome an action they cannot block in advance.

      • @ Tom

        What law allows for re-instatement?

        If there is no legal basis for a governmental act, the govt. can’t act. And you can’t use EO to overrule statute.

    • You need to cross-reference this with the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea to determine how far out it runs. Territorial waters only covers about 12-24 nm, but if there is a continental shelf extending out from US territory, it can potentially extend that up to about 200 nm. I believe this is what this law refers to as the outer shelf. Drilling outside of this area and outside of US territorial waters would be subject to international maritime law.

      • You can’t use an EO to rescind executive action under statute. That is what this is, execution of Presidential Power granted by the ACT.

        The ACT includes no language to reverse the withdrawal of withdrawn lands by POTUS, accordingly, there is no lawful, legal process to do so.

        Unless and until an amendment is made, they are withdrawn permanently.

        It is of note that the Secretary can exclude lands that are up for disposition from being leased, but Congress explicitly provided that POTUS could withdraw lands from even being up for disposition.

      • You are relying upon the actions on President “constitutional lawyer expert”.

        What can be accomplished in a fit of spite can be undone through multiple methods.

        A) Guaranteed is that Congress will view this latest abuse of Presidential power as a challenge to be deflated. Look for any “Presidential invoked” clauses outside of the Constitution to be revoked.
        B) The basis for the law is proper remunerations and fees to States for mineral/oil leases.
        a) Unilateral executive action without due process and involving the impacted states. Sue for illegal actions without due process and no intention to repair the States for their losses in revenues.
        b) Sue for improper due process procedures.

        President Obama is going to get a rude awakening. I’d like to think there will FOI for communications between the Chicago kid, activists, Secretary of the Interior.

      • “Karl: December 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm
        You can’t use an EO to rescind executive action under statute. That is what this is, execution of Presidential Power granted by the ACT.

        The ACT includes no language to reverse the withdrawal of withdrawn lands by POTUS, accordingly, there is no lawful, legal process to do so.

        As usual, the eco-looney are off in lala land.

        If the lands had allegedly been truly withdrawn, I wondered by the oil markets were not concerned?
        These characters whose income depends on explicitly knowing legal details are the real experts on what the OCSLA law is and what can be done.

        It turns out that not only can the President withdraw lands, but that there is existing precedent for re-instating lands withdrawn from availability and prospecting.

        “Mr. Obama’s “creative” interpretation of a “rarely used” provision of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Ocsla allows that the President “may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the Outer Continental Shelf.” Because the law does not explicitly give the President the power to un-withdraw lands, the White House touts the rule as a forever condition. In other words, this is Mr. Obama’s typically illegal M.O.

        Congress passed Ocsla, as the law’s preamble states, in order to make the “vital national resource reserve” that is the continental shelf “available for expeditious and orderly development.” The power to lock is also the power to unlock. Bill Clinton used Ocsla to withdraw 300 million offshore acres from an area that was already a designated marine sanctuary, but George W. Bush reinstated about 50 million.

        So typical of the truly lame duck President Obama to not actually research the law, along with existing precedent. Especially a precedent that put lands in a marine sanctuary back into the oil market.
        That said, Congress may still remove such wording from laws to prevent Presidential abuse. A good idea from this standpoint.

        Especially as:

        “Russia is also aggressively expanding exploration wells in the Arctic’s Kara and Pechora seas and adding to its polar navy.”

        It’s a lot easier to keep lands once tapped, than to reclaim them from claim jumpers who have their own personal idea of world economics.

  2. Oh don’t worry. There might not be a precedent for a lot of things that Trump is planning to do. My guess, he is going to chuckle as he changes this.

  3. I doubt it will take much effort for Trump to undo it.

    But it does demonstrate for posterity just what kind of a person Obama is.

    • my thoughts exactly as I heard it on the radio today in Aus!
      not that many of us had any doubt how devious n twofaced the bummer was
      just confirmation of that
      really spoilt bratty behaviour

    • Are there any examples of other Presidents making large-scale changes in government policy within the last month of being in office? Or is this kind of action something which only Obama has ever done?

      • Alba==> Bill Clinton lowered the allowable arsenic in drinking water levels at the end of his eight years. I do not know if that counts as “large scale”.

      • Obama is the only president in the modern era that believes he is a god…master of all things. Kind of humorous that he thinks he is relevant in the era of Trump. Such a pechilant little man.

      • it’s not about proofreading.
        such errors are the domain of those who don’t read at all and acquiire vocabulary simply by mimicry from hearing other people speak – the lazy, ineffective way.
        so read more in the first place and use a dictionary often.

    • My opinion of the motive is: not that the prohibition will be difficult to undo but the green outrage that the undoing will do (cause). It seems a bit of scorched earth policy.

  4. POTUS Trump will have adifficult time leglally circumventing this action by POTUS Obama.

    GOP Congress + POTUS Trump … easy peasy to overrule The Petulent Obama.

    • He will have zero effort to rescind the order. And if Greenpeace sues, he can countersue and drain their bank account. Or declare them a terrorist organization and close their bank accounts.

      • Right you are, Donald K, ….. as my ole papa said, ….. “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

      • It’s not an Executive Order — it is statutorily granted POTUS action under the Continental Shelf … ACT.

        With no process or mechanism under the law to reverse the decision.

      • Karl, before you spout off again do two things. Bone up on statutory interpretation case law. AND the 2008 Bush eastern Gulf of Mexico precedent. You are wrong and keep digging your hole deeper. The WaPo, as in so many things, does notnk ow what it is talking about and got it wrong. Explained already twice in comments below.

      • I would think if Obama were identified as an enemy agent or a series of treasons, his acts would become reviewable or overturnable beyond some point in his administration…

        We all know O is guilty of many things, just that he has been protected by DoJ from blowback.

    • “I thought the guy might finally show a little grace”

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Oh, wait – you were serious?

    • Apparently Obama is relying on a 1953 law.

      The law allows a president to withdraw any currently unleased lands in the Outer Continental Shelf from future lease sales. There is no provision in the law that allows the executive’s successor to repeal the decision, so President-elect Donald Trump would not be able to easily brush aside the action. link

      It will take Congress to undo the law.

      • …which they most likely will.

        Maybe Trump can sequester Obama on an island where his only entertainment will be golf?

      • It’s their legal opinion that the law does not contain a provision for repeal.. Just another example of lazy reporting (fake news?) where NBC takes the Obama administration’s, and the Serira Club’s, word for it and publishes it as fact without seeking any independent legal opinion.

      • @RockyRoad More fitting would be for Obama to live off-grid and 100% ecological farming on an island.

      • Excerpted from — commieBob – December 20, 2016 at 11:09 pm

        There is no provision in the law that allows the executive’s successor to repeal the decision, so President-elect Donald Trump

        Well “DUH”, unless the above noted Law SPECIFICALLY states that ONLY a Congressional action can change or repeal said Law …….. then POTUS Trump can do whatever the hell he wants to about it or with it.

      • I understand Kiribati (Gilberts) will be vacated soon due to those massively rising tides, perhaps they could be renamed the Obummers

      • There is nothing in the Constitution that allows a President to bind future Presidents. Only laws passed by both houses and are signed into law, which these specific actions do not qualify. Even if the law explicitly stated that following Presidents can not reverse such actions (which it doesnt), it would fail muster as it would then be rewriting how laws are passed, and thus nullify the constitution. A law, let alone a interpretation of a law, can create a situation where the president alone can write forever binding laws.

      • “Maybe Trump can sequester Obama on an island where his only entertainment will be golf?

        With a really BIG cluster of offshore turbines to sunward.

      • Does the law forbid rescinding such an order? If it does not, then President Trump is free to change it at his discretion. Just because there is no provision allowing a president to rescind an order means nothing. There has to be a provision prohibiting him from rescinding the order. If so, only then would congress need to act.

        Be careful as such a prohibition may be somewhere else in the code.

        It is really time to quit paying attention to any media or people that puts out this nonsense. They want us to believe it, just like they wanted us to believe Hillary had a lock on the presidency. It is best to look at the legal authority rather than the pundits with an agenda. They need to cite chapter and verse. Otherwise it is nothing more than a bluff.

        They-the media-are patting themselves on the back for having such a clever president. And they were patting themselves on the back the day before the election. Now we ourselves would be wise to not engage in the hubris they did. The future is always up for grabs. As Benjamin Franklin is alleged to have said “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

      • @ Sam
        Umm — NO

        POTUS can’t change ANY LAW – ever, period zip zero nada.

        Did you pay attention in civics class??

        POTUS can only sign or veto legislation passed to him.

        He can’t veto part — that is a line item veto and the Supreme Court said that’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

        And Executive Orders are powerless against acts performed under statute.

      • @ Jeff

        For EO — true

        For statutory acts — FALSE

        POTUS Trump is bound by every single LAW that POTUS Obama signed into law. He is powerless before them.

        Only Congress can change the law, or repeal the law.

      • karl – December 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm

        @ Sam
        Umm — NO

        POTUS can’t change ANY LAW – ever, period zip zero nada.

        Did you pay attention in civics class??

        @ karl

        Well “DUH”, karl, …… my knowledge of civics is just fine, ……. it is your reading comprehension skills that are FUBAR,

        In my comment I SPECIFICALLY stated that …… “unless the above noted Law”, …. which isn’t, wasn’t and never will be a duly enacted Congressional legal Statute or Law of the US of A.

        That is what this entire discussion is all about, ….. people like you who truly believe that the POTUS, the EPA, the DoE, county, state & federal Public Health Departments, etc., etc., all have the power to “write Laws” that are enforceable by Officers of the Courts.

        And the travesty of it is, they get by with the enforcement of said “pseudo Laws” simply because the Courts and its Officers turn a “blind eye” to it ……. and 99% of the Defendants that are charged with violating said “pseudo Laws” …….. do not have sufficient time n’ energy, or funds to pay for Lawyer and Legal fees.

  5. Obama is gambling that Donald is going to be a one term president. Do we really need offshore drilling in the next four years? The thing currently controlling drilling in America is the price of foreign oil.

    However, if shale production accelerates, thanks in part to more rapid technological improvements, the EIA projects the U.S. would become a “net petroleum exporter by 2024.” If oil prices rise sharply, surpassing $100 a barrel in the next few years, the EIA thinks the U.S. could achieve complete energy independence by 2022. link

    • CB,
      While your comment is OK from a theory POV, it is the practical effect that matters.
      Large investors in resource developments place certainty of acts and regs quite high on their wanted lists. Sovereign risk and all that.
      There is already far too much stupid interference in the affairs of corporations by bureaucratic meddlers. Muzzle the corporations at your peril. Depression is never far behind.
      Geoff.

    • What about Labour…generally oil companies have had a need of 80 dollars a barrel to pay the bills. What if Trump’s need to bring back jobs inspires a lower drilling price. Tax incentives; Royalty fees; Lower wages; here in Canada, guys will jump at 75% of what they use to get to get back out there, it’s been a long halt. Most lost everything.

      Obama is doing his best to protect his Clean air/Clean fuel act which protects whom, Soros and all his American coal he now owns, and that new fangled Methanol process for clean fuel enabling him to drink deeply from that government trough. And arn’t the auto manufacturers with Flexifuel 20 on board withit.
      All that captured CO2, and Trump is promising to end the free money.

  6. “Trump will be able to overturn this nonsense, but the effort required to undo this senseless regulatory vandalism will waste Trump’s time – precious time Trump could have used to fix the US tax code, cut the Federal deficit, drain the climate research swamp, sort out Common Core, fix Obamacare, or sort out the shambolic Department of Veterans Affairs.”

    Trump worked in the real world where he had teams to do the work. He never had to do the work himself but rather had teams to pour concrete, lay bricks, erect steel. He will do the same when in office, assemble demolition teams to take apart all Obama’s destructive legislation. Just have the teams report back when it is done.

    Easy Peasy !

  7. Must admit when I heard this early today (oz time) I thought it was a spoilt brat / sore loser type action and I hope Donald can Trump the order .

  8. Although a petty, spiteful action by arch-ecoloon Obama, the rise of shale oil and gas largely makes this an empty gesture.

  9. Also love the quote from the sierra club saying “they have public opinion on their side” , who won the election ? And by promising to do what with oil,gas and coal !

  10. Obama is right to give up hope of collecting money the way the Clintons did . Pay for play
    and green wash have been done .

    • “The mind boggles. What next? An Executive Order closing all oil wells in the USA?”
      Please don’t give the man ideas.

  11. Lower energy prices, largely due to an exploration and development boom that started under George Bush, saved Obama’s presidency.

    • Obama is worse than I thought. A Scorched earth president

      I think he’s aiming for scorched oceans before the bell rings.

    • Gabriel
      December 21, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Jihadi Obama is a criminal devoted to the cause of destroying the United States of America…

      Yes, and it became easy to prove that ideologically, Obama was either a Communist or a dhimmi, or both, well before his first Election. David Yeagley also made the “Communist” call. But this was still an hypothesis about his future acts, so I gave Obama about 6-8 months in office to start to prove me wrong by just one of his actions as President. He didn’t and hasn’t. Meanwhile, Limbaugh had said right off, “I hope he fails,” and anyone viewing Obama from the point of view of an empirical skepticism based upon Obama’s past knew exactly what he meant.

  12. This is a pointless gesture. Offshore exploration and development is expensive and unlikely to be profitable for quite a while. It should be reversed but it’s actually in the interest of current lease holders that it remain.

  13. If Congress enacts a law, Congress can repeal the law. If Congress authorizes an agency to do certain things, it can rescind its authorization. If Congress creates an agency or department, it can abolish it. However, Congress prefers to complain loudly when its creations take outrageous actions or when they consistently abuse their power–blame it on the creations–but then take none of the remedial action that is within its power–the creator consents by its inaction. So we will hear moans and groans from “conservative” members of the House and Senate, who will then (being their usual indolent selves) do nothing. It took years, but I finally figured it out–say something, do nothing, betray my constituents but sound good while doing it.

    • In Europe, the politicians invented something called the “EU” to do pretty much the same. Any policy they knew would never get through the electorate at home (from immigration to massive cost rises for “climate”) they just got the EU to pass it for them and then when they had their arm “twisted” to have open borders, massive fuel rises – they just blamed the EU Eurocrats.

      But we in the UK, come from a centuries old culture where our leaders do what they are told to do, not what they would like us to do.

      • But soon (here in England, at least!) they won’t be able to do that. Scotland? Well, that’s another story – if little Krankie gets her own way. Scottish Sceptic, I wish you all the luck in the world…you’re going to need it. Who knows what the future holds for your part of the UK?

      • “But we in the UK, come from a centuries old culture where our leaders do what they are told to do, not what they would like us to do.”

        May it ever be so.

        But you guys in the UK have a lot of politicians who look a lot like Obama and the Left in the U.S., in other words, clueless undesirables, and you need to get these people out of power fast.

    • “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives.
      The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes.
      The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” –
      GK Chesterton ILN, 4/19/24

      • Yes. For the best part of a hundred years, ‘conservatives’ have spent most of their time trying to maintain the things ‘progressives’ did twenty years earlier.

        That’s now changing fast, because it’s no longer sustainable. We either roll back a century of ‘progressivism’ or Western civilization collapses.

      • “That’s now changing fast, because it’s no longer sustainable. We either roll back a century of ‘progressivism’ or Western civilization collapses.”

        Yes. Clueless ‘progressivism’ has western Europe in a precarious position now, and would put us all there eventually if given enough time. It looks like enough people may be waking up now to stop ‘progressivism’ from continuing to take us down this ruinous path.

    • JoAnn—congress has no desire nor incentive to reduce the size of government, hence loud noises only. Both parties have only one aim–increase the size and power of the central government. Previous GOP majorities have proved that.

  14. Cannot exclude Obama’s retropurge of thought criminals lost Democrats the 2016 presidential election. He shocked at least those with intelligentsia blood in their veins, irrespective of their political preferences otherwise.

    Similarly it’s possible Obama’s latest offers Trump not only a precedent for removing these bans, but also an opportunity for gaining more public support while at it.

  15. 4TimesAYaer says:
    “People who don’t act in the best interest of others and themselves are generally considered mentally ill…”

    I agree. Much more than half of the Earth’s population are hysterical lunatics.

  16. I am so sorry that it took America 8 years to find out That Obama was not on your side but on the side of a world governance, good luck to the new president Trump.

      • The only way that Obama is more highly rated than his policies is the “Trump damning effect”. People don’t want to admit they don’t like the Black President lest they be accused of “Racism” by true racist LibTards. Trump supporters didn’t want to reveal their true leanings for the same reason, making Polls useless and wrong.

      • Umm — His current approval rating of 57% (it was 59% a week ago or so) is better than all modern presidents than Reagan, Clinton (both with 63%), and Ike (59%) in the December of their final term in office.

      • Karl, “polls” aren’t votes.
        I thing this last election proved that.

        I’d hazard a guess that most of those who voted for Trump don’t bother answering “polls”.
        I know I don’t and Trump was not my first choice in our primary.
        I view polls as just the wind that keeps the spin going.

  17. Despite of everything Obama cannot be criticised for lack of coherence, effort and relative kindness. It was a different story in the 1930’s when intelligentsia lost their lives for un-Marxist research e.g. sunspot development.

  18. Does this actually matter? By opening up onshore exploration the US is likely to be awash with fuel for the next few decades never mind the 8 years Trump could serve. Just another hollow and vindictive gesture from Obama.

    • It really amazes me the number of people who view presidents as nothing short of gods.
      The fact that there was nothing Obama could do to prevent pipelines from being built on private lands proves that he is pro-pipeline? Sheesh.

  19. Will anyone in American politics ever get accountable for something? It seems to me like politicians can do whatever they want and the worst case for them is to change office. That’s how small corrupted banana republic countries work.

  20. President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau are proud to launch actions ensuring a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem, with […] science based management of marine resources

    If the ‘science’ they intend to use for ‘management’ is anything like the science used for AGW, then Lord help the marine resources.

  21. For what its worth, I think in 500 years people will look back and laugh about all the fuss people were making about such things as putting an exploratory drillhole in vast ocean waters, just like people now look back and scratch their head at people fighting over various versions and interpretations of the ‘holy’ texts 500 years ago, during all the religious wars. It’s a completely irrational non issue.

    Such religious-style wars area non issue, in the west at least, now, and I think most ‘environmental’ issues will similarly be a non issue in the distant future. But it will take some time.

    But just like in the religious wars, we have to first re-organise, separate and nullify those self-promoting religious-style clerics and officials from state influence and power, who use the same old methods of fear and ‘protection’ to exploit people’s ignorance for their own deluded and self-interested beliefs.

      • You’re about a hundred years too late for that. If Congress had impeached past Presidents for claiming powers they never legally had, it might have been stopped. But they never had the balls.

        I’m waiting for meltdown when Democrats remember that Obama gave Trump the right to drone anyone he feels like at any time, for any reason, even if they’re a US citizen.

      • Mark, I think you may have it wrong. The story I got was that Congress has been slowly giving up its powers to both the Executive branch and the K-street lobbyists so they won’t have to be on-the-record as voting for/against any particular bill. As professional politicians they are much more interested in their own reelection than than they are is governing.

    • How about this?

      1341. Reservation of lands and rights
      (a) Withdrawal of unleased lands by President: The President of the United States may, from time to
      time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.

    • It appears that the administration is relying on this provision…

      1341. Reservation of lands and rights
      (a) Withdrawal of unleased lands by President: The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.

      That said, there appears to be no provision which provides for the permanent withdrawal or prohibits the reinstatement of said lands for disposition by President of the United States.

      • I saw that. But that doesn’t mean Obama’s order is permanent. Nor does it mean his order is difficult to reverse. Trump could reverse this, if he desires, no fuss, no muss… that’s my interpretation anyway. No need to get Congress involved or change laws.

        Just a bunch of smoke and mirrors by the Watermelons.

      • “From time to time” pretty much states that it can be withdrawn or implemented at the pleasure of the President. They’re kinda missing the boat on their proclamation that Trump can’t undo this.

      • “The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it will place an indefinite ban on offshore oil and gas drilling”
        If this action is indefinite I would think Trump could just end it. It would not have to be withdrawn or expunged or whatever just shortened to the timeline Trump chooses. Its like any other indefinite moratorium.

      • Just read the entire law. Its purpose is to encourage resource development in an orderly, fair, environmentally responsible way. The Interior Secretary is instructed to prepare from time to time possible leases to be bid out. 1341(a) simple says the president can withdraw unleased seafloor from consideration by Interior for leasing. WaPo is simply legally wrong about that action being permanent and indelible. It can be undone also by a President, as a matter of long established statutory construction of congressional intent given the laws explicit written purpose in its first section. Greenies try to challenge the undoing would fail at SCOTUS. Low priority, since the expensive Arctic won’t be in play for decades.

      • “The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it will place an indefinite ban on offshore oil and gas drilling”

        I heard a radio news reporter say exactly the same thing a few minutes ago and I thought to myself: Yeah, in this case, indefinite equals about 31 more days.

      • It’s not an order, it’s a statutory exercise of powers granted under the statute to POTUS and ONLY POTUS. Congress did not provide a means to un-withdraw lands that have been withdrawn from disposition.

        Without a legal (meaning defined by law) way to re-instate withdrawn land — it is something the govt. cannot currently do.

        Congress must amend the law or pass legislation that addresses the issue.

      • @ SMC — actually it does mean that. Congress provided no means for withdrawn lands to be re-instated.

        @ Marc T. — it only states withdrawn. Yeah — it seems absurd, but Congress actually made it permanent by not providing a way to reverse it.

        @DMA — yeah no! Laws don’t work that way. IF it was an EO — DJT could rescind it no problem. However, it was an action performed by STATUTE.

      • Karl, you show up again spouting nomsense after I explained themissuemof statutory interpretation. I doubt you are a lawyer. I am. If not, stop dispensing wrong legal advice.

    • Congress has been unwilling to challenge Obama’s willingness to shut the government down if he doesn’t get what he wants. They have calculated there is no choice against a man who would gladly come to the rescue of a collapsed society with the necessary imposition of marshal law.

      Contrast this with the president we will have shortly who will shut the government down if congress doesn’t do what they’ve been saying they want to do. Things are really looking up.

  22. Actually, Obama’s act, actions to date and his final 29 days will be a constant reminder all the Trump voters why they voted against the Left’s agenda. Speculation has it he and his community are going to use the courts to block any and all actions which is possible, given the 3000 judges he’s appointed and the time the Federal system requires to get to SCOTUS. Waging war in the courts and what will likely be an accompanying wave(s) of protest and violence may be a fatal flaw for the Left since there are other ways to implement the will of the people.
    Few realize it but only 6 more States are needed to convene an Article V Constitutional Convention. The heads-exploding segment always shouts out that they could do anything. However, there would still need to have 38 States pass any amendment(s) a Convention would recommend. It could be the end of the world for the totalitarian Left since any Amendments would certainly restrict Federal powers. The demonstration the Left is and will put on may be just the impetus. Remember, “everyone” thought Trump would lose.
    Interesting times indeed.

    • Just to be correct, it is not a Constitutional Convention, it is a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments. Those in opposition to this method as outlined in Article V use the scare words “constitutional convention” and perpetuate the myth that doing this would mean the Constitution can be voided and rewritten. That is why it is important to use the correct terminology. I have been following this for a while now and have filled out a survey for my opinion on what amendments should be proposed. My biggest concern is that there is division among those proposing amendments about what should be passed. In my opinion the amendment that would have the best impact on the U.S. is to impose term limits on those in Congress. I fear that too many others are backing a balanced budget amendment which can have its own bad consequences if not written properly.

      • While I support term limits, I ‘d rather see an amendment that requires Congress members – and the rest of Government – to live by the laws they pass for every one else and another amendment that requires laws to address one subject only – no omnibus bills.

      • Tom, I share our concern about a balanced budget amendment, but I do think one with proper exceptions could be worked out. However, to really get the Constitution back to what was envisioned by our forefathers would require three things: term limits, a balanced budget amendment and gross restrictions on the Interstate Commerce clause. We have to eliminate the career politicians, interested only in their own reelection, and get back to the citizen legislator that goes to Washington a few day a year to decide and vote on what is best for the country. Requiring a balanced budget under all but extreme conditions would eliminate the ‘bring home the bacon’ method of buying votes. And, I don’t know how to implement it but we have to place limits on the Interstate Commerce clause. Probably 95% or more of the over expansion of the federal government has been driven through that one clause.

      • Roda, I agree. Allowing Congress to except themselves from the laws they pass just leads to their arrogance and self-importance.

      • I don’t support term limits. Term limits, limit my personal freedom to choose who I want to represent me.

        The people who are represented should have the final say on how long their representative stays in office. Term limits is throwing the good and the bad out without regard to who is who.

        The people represented are the best judges of their representative.

    • For those that are not familiar with Article V, any amendments passed in this manner do not go through Congress and they have no say in the matter.

  23. Obama seems to be dedicated to leaving nasty presents for the new administration. The EPA puts out a tendentious “study” on fracking, and now this restriction on drilling. Both can be undone, but they are distractions.

  24. This is why most powers should be stripped from a sitting president after every election. Let the new guy make the rules once he’s sworn in.

    • In Australia, the caretaker convention prevents outgoing governments from making major decisions without the approval of the opposition. Even though it may not apply in America, it is certainly an act of bad faith.

  25. I’ve got the perfect solution to Obama’s closing off these areas, and one that’ll make Democrats in Congress beg to repeal the law that gives presidents such powers, and reverse Obama’s actions.

    Vastly expand oil, gas and mineral exploration leases both on- and off-shore in California. And for good measure grant rights to build new refineries in the state. Then when the left go nuts, blame Obama for closing off alternatives.

    “Be careful what you ask for because you might get it.”

  26. It is quite likely that Mr Obama is suffering from President Is Supreme Syndrome. Within five minutes of taking office, President Trump should declare, “I wish to restore sanity to US government. I hereby declare that all orders, diktats, decrees, etc which my unfortunate predecessor issued without seeking Congressional approval are hereby rescinded.”

    • “The president is been ill advised.”

      If you are talking about Obama, he doesn’t take advise. Obama thinks he is the smartest guy on the planet. Whatever you see him doing is something *he* wants to do, not something someone else wants him to do. Obama is the misleader of this show.

  27. “President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau are proud to launch actions ensuring a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy….”

    Without oil and gas the Arctic economy consists of tourists coming to watch the polar bears at the town dump, shooting the odd bear for an outrageous fee and government welfare checks. Since I don’t see any attempt by Obama or that little scrote (i’m canadian I can say that!) Trudeau to provide any kind of development plan for the Arctic regions and peoples we can assume that this is what the future will be indefinitely with no respite from alcoholism, substance abuse and suicide. Way to go caring “liberals”.

  28. Here is the provision that Obama is using:

    “1341. Reservation of lands and rights
    (a) Withdrawal of unleased lands by President:
    The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf. ”

    It does not address what any following President can do nor does it allow for a “banning” of leasing. This would be one for the Courts to decide.

    However, Congress can simply amend that provision to bring it in line with the overall purpose of the legislation which is to develop off shore resources for the betterment of the U.S.

    • Why would the Courts have to get involved? It seems pretty simple and clear to me, anyway. President Obama can institute a ban on unleased areas, if he desires and as he has done. President Trump can undo the ban, if he desires. Congress wouldn’t even have to get involved, unless they wanted to change the law for some reason… which probably wouldn’t be a bad idea if it prevented some future President from abusing the provision as Obama seems to have tried to do.

    • Tom in Florida, see my comment upthread. As a matter of clear statutory construction, the provision is the President overriding his Sec. Interior. But given the laws express purposes in its first section, that cannot be construed as permanent. The WaPo legal assumption is wrong as a matter of statutory interpretation about congressional intent. The case law on this is well established, with lots of Scotus precedent. Even the late Justice Scalia’s lengthly book on strict statutory construction supports the conclusion that WaPo is just wrong.

    • I would think the pertinent phrase is “The President of the United States may, from time to time,” it give the POTUS authority to from a given time to until another given time, as the POTUS sees fit the permission to withdraw unleased lands.

      • Correct. And there is, I just learned from the American Petroleum Institute, precedent. In 2008 in response to $4/gallon gas, G. W. Bush removed from ‘off limits for leasing’ coastal blocks in the Eastern Gulf that had previously been so designated by G.H.W. Bush in 2000 to curry favor in Florida in the election he lost to Clinton. Florida sued and lost.

      • @ristvan

        And you would be wrong — It was an Executive Order — not the Continental Shelf Act

        “In 1990, President George H. W. Bush issued an executive moratorium restricting federal offshore leasing to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Alaska. The moratorium banned federal leasing through the year 2000 off the East Coast, West Coast, the eastern Gulf of Mexico (offshore Florida Gulf Coast), and the Northern Aleutian Basin of Alaska. In 1998, President Bill Clinton extended the moratorium through 2012. In July 2008, President George W. Bush rescinded the executive order.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offshore_oil_and_gas_in_the_United_States

      • Karl, wikipedia is not your friend. I just spent 20 minutes researching the history of G.H.W. Bush’s 1990 ‘executive order’. It wasn’t. It was a Presidential Directive (same as the just issued Obama directive) under the 1953 Act, withdrawing most OCS acreage not yet leased, under 1341(a). It was reversed by his son in 2008. You can get the legal details at bdlaw.com in their law firms commentary on the controversy, which involved congressional as well as Presidential moritoriums.
        Being loud and persistently insistant does not make you right. Typical warmunist behavior, though.

      • And I forgot in dinner prep rush to add the constitutiinal legal clincher to this killer argument. The express executive powers are enumerated by the Constitution in Article 2. There are some (Commander in Chief, recognition of foreign states) but very few. All others derive from Article 1 Congressional laws delegating implementation details to the executive branch. In the case of offshore mineral exploitation leasing, the OCS Act of 1953, which delegated leasing powers with many state consultation restrictions to the Dept. Interior, with a single 1341(a) presidential override exception. So the original 1990 Bush Presidential moratorium Directive had no force of law except via OCS 1953 passed by Congress. Your interpretation is not just a little bit wrong. It is statutory construction wrong. It is fact precedent wrong. You rely on WaPo and Wikimedia. I rely on settled case law precedent and legal facts. Please do shout on, making an ever bigger fool of yourself.

  29. “Robert from Oz” (as in the fantasy story you’re telling, Oz) says this: “President Obama has stepped up efforts to sabotage Trump’s mandate from the American people”.
    Are you referencing the same election that the rest of the country has endured? What mandate?! HRC won the popular vote by almost 3M votes and still counting! The only thing Trump has to look forward to come January 21 is a divided country and the only mandate he has is to gracefully exit now, saving himself the humiliation of a long and embarrassing impeachment process and, more importantly, saving this country and rest of the world from untold blunders the magnitude and scope of which can only be imagined.

    • “HRC won the popular vote by almost 3M votes and still counting!”
      I wonder how the popular vote would change if you discounted the illegal alien and zombie votes.

      “…saving this country and rest of the world from untold blunders the magnitude and scope of which can only be imagined.”
      How dramatic. Maybe you should become a Hollywood writer.

      • Heh. When it comes to Russia, the question in my mind is, did they actually affect the vote totals by hacking voting machines or stuffing ballot boxes? Did they add a few votes here, a few votes there… If we’re talking about trying to influence the election, who cares. Darn near every country in the world tried to influence the election. Personally, I couldn’t care less about what Vladimir Putin, or Benjamin Netanyahu, or Bashir al Assad, or Queen Elizabeth, or Jane and Joe Public (that isn’t a US Citizen) thought about our presidential candidates and the election. The Electoral College has now voted and confirmed Trump will be the next POTUS. The vote will be certified by Congress on 6 Jan and Trump will be inaugurated on 20 Jan.

    • a) You can’t “win” something that was not contested.
      b) Majorities in the House, the Senate, state legislatures, state governorships, and at least one SCOTUS pick most certainly constitute a mandate.
      c) Give it up, your kind, and flawed ideas, lost.

    • Hillary’s mandate was from California, which will soon secede, or be expelled from the United States. The rest of the country voted for Trump.

      • In his case it is to prevent or limit exfiltration not immigration. But, from what I have seen e.g., in both Colorado and Texas, something about ‘closing the barn door’ comes to mind.

    • Trump won the majority of counties (2,623 v. 489), states (30 v.20), and without California Trump won the popular vote too. California is trying to secede, so I say, let them go and Trump is the man hands down.

      • 3 million more people voted for HRC; that is hardly a mandate for either side. In a number of those states, his majority was razor thin, closer to a statistical tie really, so I would hardly say he “won” those states. I’ve seen the term “mandate” used more than a few times on this blog; he has no mandate at all, more like a divided country.

        So, climate change notwithstanding, you’re ok with an uneducated, misogynistic troll for president who insults and denigrates handicapped individuals on national television and who thinks its ok to lie and cheat as long as you don’t get caught, who has no class and the self-control of an 8-year old. The office of the President is the highest office in the country and, in theory, should always represent the best we have to offer. It White House will now be occupied by the worst we have to offer and the prince of the swamp dwellers.

      • T. It is remarkable how partisan politcs correlates with opinions on climate change. IMO your opinions on the recent US elections are every bit as shallow as your views on climate change.

      • “3 million more people voted for HRC”

        But they were either illegal or dead. As we know, 99% of corpses polled vote Democrat.

  30. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/21/congress-obama-admin-fired-top-scientist-to-advance-climate-change-plans.html

    Congress: Obama admin fired top scientist to advance climate change plans

    http://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/2016-12-19-Final-Staff-Report-LDRR.pdf

    The Committee concludes that the DOE placed its own priorities to further the President’s Climate Action Plan before its Constitutional obligations to be candid with Congress. The DOE’s actions constitute a reckless and calculated attack on the legislative process itself, which undermines the power of Congress to legislate. The Committee further concludes that DOE’s disregard for separation of powers is not limited to a small group of employees, but rather is an institutional problem that must be corrected by overhauling its management practices with respect to its relationship with the Congress.

    • “The Committee concludes that the DOE placed its own priorities … before its Constitutional obligations to be candid with Congress.”
      Sounds like ample justification to hand out a bunch of pink slips.

    • As I stated above, that probably is one of the reasons Gov. Perry wanted to eliminate the DOE. Don’t know if he still does, but it might get interesting around there come January/February.

  31. ‘President Obama has stepped up efforts to sabotage Trump’s mandate from the American people, this time by attempting to mess up Trump’s commitment to open public land to oil and gas exploration.’

    Amen. Obama isn’t acting alone, either.

    ‘Most Read from The Washington Post: Congratulations, Trump. Welcome to hell.’

  32. I was under the impression that due to fracking, you guys in the US were self sufficient in oil for the foreseeable future? If that is the case, why drill in places which are difficult to extract oil, expensive to transport the product and hard to sell in a time of an oil glut? It’s a bit like re-opening coal mines in difficult to extract areas when there is almost no market.

  33. Well, as someone has said, the Democrats have spend 8 years weaponizing the government…and now they have to turn it over to Trump.

    Eventually, they’ll get why some of us are “smaller government” folks.

    • It’s been a lot longer than eight years, these shenanigans started back during the LBJ administration with the start of the “War on Poverty”, when the leftists started infiltrating the bureaucracies and the schools. The overarching goal was the indoctrination of the school kids into the generation of snowflakes we see now. The Clintons brought it to a real art-form, deep down I believe that the real reason Obama got to be President was to test the waters for Hillary so she’d know how far she could push things. Losing the election was the defeat of a multi-decade plan IMHO.

  34. It’s just another long-term political investment in the Green movement.
    Even repealed the process mobilizes the Green base for years to come.

    It shouldn’t be forgotten in the current land of Obama regulatory excesses the Greens scored numerous victories in the 70’s and 80’s which in part created the pandering Climate junk science alliances that formed the IPCC/academia/youth culture. The common culture hatred of “big oil”, “corporations” etc. will remain at some base level and every oil spill, hurricane, heat wave, coastal flood an opportunity to remarket “climate change” and “clean energy” Utopianism.

    Out of power the hope for movement greens their value system can grow again in the retreated enclaves of primary schools and universities. It will remain a mainstay talking point in the MSM and even expand.

    Obama has set out a long term converging plan to mix Marxist and Green values with race, age and class elements. AGW authority was simply a useful tool that will be revived or simply replaced.

  35. “a provision of the 1953 the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act”

    The act has been amended by Congress, as example in 1978.

    An avenue is to have Congress amend the act again, limiting the President to obtain prior approval and consent by Congress for “actions” the President that he may be inclined to make regarding provisions of the law.

  36. If impact assessments and cost-benefit analyses determine that such drilling is more beneficial to the planet than detrimental, then I could not bad mouth it. But I will not bad mouth every hint of an effort to be conscientious users of Earth’s resources, just because I believe that the current C02-global warming scare is total crap.

    I will bad mouth the hypocrisy of disabling American coal, while shipping it off to, say, China, who burns it anyway. Oh, you Americans can’t use the stuff, but we Americans can still make money off the stuff by shipping it out of sight/out of mind for somebody else to burn.

  37. How much time does it take to sign a presidential order stating, all of Obama’s presidential orders are rescinded?

  38. Like most of what BimBam does, it is a meaningless middle finger raised to the people of the United States, and an act of observance to his true love, the Mad Mullahs of Iran. Because, for so long as oil remains around its current price ($52/bbl.), no drilling will be done in Alaska.

    • Really, the Roosevelt approach, it didn’t work too well when he tried it!
      If I were Obama I’d make a recess appointment of Merrick Garland.

    • Umm – he can’t

      Did everybody here FAIL CIVICS class?????

      28 U.S. Code § 1 – Number of justices; quorum

      The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of a Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum.

      It would take an ACT of Congress to change the number of justices.

      I doubt that McCain, Graham, and Collins would vote for it.

  39. The statute says:

    “The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.”

    It’s pretty clear this is a P.R. stunt by Obummer, there is nothing else in the act that makes it irreversible. It would be at the discretion of the Secretary of Interior and the President to simply change the disposition of the lands from protected to unprotected.

  40. I’ve never heard of such a graceless act of contempt for the will of the American people. Opening public land to oil and gas was a central promise of President-elect Trump’s campaign manifesto. Trump won the electoral college, by a wide margin.
    Not that wide, President Obama won by bigger margins in both of his elections, and as far as ‘the will of the American people’ is concerned, more voted for Hillary Clinton than for Trump. Just a reminder that Obama is still the president and is not bound by Trump’s promises, Trump can live up to those promises (or not) once he is inaugurated. I take it you were similarly outraged when the outgoing G W Bush administration enacted a record number of such ‘Midnight Regulations’ in an attempt to thwart the incoming president? This was done at the instigation of the Bush chief of stall, Joshua Bolten.

  41. if I was Trump I would send a letter to Obama that says, “I want to grant waivers to some oil companies that have particular offshore tracts that they want to develop. Is there some super-special legal language that you used when you granted waivers to all your union friends for the Affordable Care (snicker) Act? Thanks in advance for the friendly help.”

  42. …administration officials stress that there is no provision in the law providing the president authority draw those actions back.

    An irrrevocable regulation?
    Gee, I wonder what the un-intended consquences of this action might be?

    • This would be pure bluff. Unless the law prohibits rescission, Trump can do whatever he wants. As someone else in this thread mentioned, unless something is expressly prohibited, it is permitted. There is also likely no provision prohibiting the new president from rescinding this order.

      • That’s not how LAW actually works.

        Not forbidden is permitted is how lows PROHIBITING BEHAVIOR work.

        The converse is true for LAWS ALLOWING BEHAVIOR. If it is not provided or ALLOWED, the government has no way to act.

  43. Canada’s Justine Trudeau is complicit by helping Obama thwart the incoming Trump. How can Canada hope to have good relations with it’s largest trading partner after such blatant stupidity. J.T. must modify his International support of the Liberal agenda/conspiracy. He does not speak for ALL Canadians and his prospects are tanking. GK

  44. I have a hard time believing that the actions of a President alone can’t be easily undone by another President with the House and Senate.

  45. G. Karst
    The only way jt will be relegated to the side lines is when Canada goes through the same swamp cleansing that the US just went through.
    Premiers notely and wynn are more key players to be flushed. Quebec is and always will be a lost cause. Not sure if Canadian voters will ever wake up.
    The irony was thick on yesterday’s local CTV news channel when they ran a story on an Ontario fastener company expanding in the US due to high electricity rates in Ontario, and the next story was on the need for donations to food banks.
    The left press likes both stories – high electricity prices are a direct outcome of (failed) green energy policies (contracting to pay 81 cents per kWh for solar power), and food banks feed all those without jobs (a feel good story i think)
    Looks like a major cluster fark or another analogy is the circular firing squad.

  46. Unlike those rights bestowed by our creator, what the government gives, the government can take away. History will record Obama’s legacy in asterisks, footnotes and parentheses.

  47. War is coming though it may be a bureaucratic war rather than a hot one, at least for now. It may not be clear yet to most but the battle lines are being drawn. If Obama can act with cynical abuse of law then so can Trump. In all the draconian emergency legislation of recent years there must be a provision for declaring a National Emergency and authority to override any of the executive orders of Obama or laws passed by Congress.

    In the end law will likely mean nothing. Sufficient disturbance and Trump may have the opportunity to go before Congress and ask for a law allowing him to rule by decree and a fearful Congress will give it to him. The country has lost all respect for the ballot box. All that remains is the apparent lack of sufficient organization for one party or another to present large scale defiance. Sooner or later someone will find the will, determination and capability to do something unforgivable and the mood of the country will shift.

    One should fear dictatorship because the various factions will soon stop at nothing to secure their position. Ruthlessness will soon be a necessity of survival in an increasingly chaotic government.

    Most people seem to be seeing the current follies of government to be a joke. It will likely be as much of a joke as the picnickers found who came out from Washington at the start of the Civil War to watch the First Battle of Bull Run, a number of whom got caught up in the struggle with the retreating Union troops as an expected short and comical rebellion turned into a four year bloodbath.

  48. I’ve never heard of such a graceless act of contempt for the will of the American people.

    In Australia we had Paul Keating’s gift to Australia as the door hit his backside on the way out: the “Bringing them home” report.

    • The outgoing North Carolina governor gave it a good try, after disputing the result of an election he’d clearly lost and refusing to concede. When finally forced to concede he hatched a coup attempt with the republican controlled house to strip the incoming governor’s powers. This was achieved by using a special meeting, called to vote on emergency provisions following the hurricane, to pass legislation to strip gubernatorial powers which the out-going governor then signed. Now that’s ‘an act of contempt for the will of the people’!

  49. “There is currently no precedent for a president to hit rewind on bans against offshore drilling in the name of environmental protections.”

    This is false. In the linked article below, it tells how President Bush rescinded an executive order banning drilling. CNN also said that some other law that needed modification by congress in order to be effective. The point here is that a president has rescinded such an order in the past.

    It also makes me wonder that if there was an executive order to be lifted given that other law, why was there an order if the other law already banned drilling.

    See http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/14/bush.offshore/index.html

    • This is not an EXECUTIVE ORDER.

      It is a statutorily granted power under the ACT in question. The ACT has no process or procedure to reverse a withdrawal. Until there is a lawful (meaning in an enacted law) process to re-instate withdrawn lands — the govt CANT act.

      Congress can amend the law to provide a process to re-instate lands withdrawn by the POTUS.

      Or it can legislate a new law specifically addressing the issue of re-instating lands withdrawn by POTUS under the ACT.

      Until then DJT literally has no means by which to re-instate and an EO cannot overrule actions done under statute.

      • Which depends on your interpretation of the statute. Which is wrong explicitly because of section 1332(c) and SCOTUS rulings on statutory interpretation. Obama can determine that under the environmental and technical circumstances of today, those lands should be withdrawn. And any future President can determine that under later circumstances, they shouldn’t be. Statutory interpretation. The law didn’t say withdrawn forever. It said withdrawn from time to time. I repeat, it appears a non-lawyer is here dispensing erroneous legal advice based on a WaPo article. Get back when you pass the bar exam and have been admitted. Me, that was 1976 after Harvard Law.

      • KS, this is a blog commentary. You really think I do not know the difference between legal opinion and legal advice? One is formal, the other informal. One is supposed to have all the law details checked and referenced. Been there, done that. The other is a consultation. Been there, done that also. But Karl is apparently certain his is both. So trying to jolt him into looking up,the actual law.
        Your problem is not my degree. It apparently is that I continue to point out that Karl is just wrong, and won’t let go. Right. He is wrong, and I am not letting go.

      • Oh, something I did not notice. The law is very funny. Merriam-Webster definitions are not valid. Black’s Law Dictionary is. You can get the 10th revision for only $140 ar Amazon. But then , you would have to read and memorize it.

      • Ristvan this is a blog commentary and the definitions provided by Merriam-Webster are perfectly valid here since this is not a court of law. Please copy and paste the exact quote of Karl where he provides ADVICE as defined in the links that Mr. Sketchley gave.

        Thank you in advance.

      • Rdw, you do not merit a responsive reply since so legally lazy. I already explained the distinction. Karl is adamant that he is right as a matter of fact and law. He is neither. Why bother to link his erroneous comments giving him a false echo chamber? Those false apspertions you can look up yourself upthread. Do your own self assigned homework, warmunist. i will not echo it, you election loser.

  50. Not unexpected. President Obama hails from the Chicago school of American politics which places primary importance on gaining and maintaining power full stop. Laws and regulations are simply another tool toward that goal. Bad public policy is often the by product.

    • So you are upset that POTUS Obama use a (poorly written) LAW passed by congress in 1953, to enact his Administration’s Environmental policies?

      He didn’t use an Executive Order, he used power granted to him by Congress.

      Perhaps you should direct your ire at your elected representatives for falling asleep at the wheel.

  51. Caliph Obama only ever paid homage to one other king. And that king did not want any competition for the exports that underpinned his wealth. And Obama complied with his wished, like the willing servant of the Umma that he was…..

  52. There is currently no precedent for a president to hit rewind on bans against offshore drilling in the name of environmental protections.

    Maybe, but i cite here out of NYT

    And he noted that Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, George Bush and Bill Clinton all used the 1953 law to protect portions of federal waters. None of those designations have been undone.

    And I add: shame on Eric Worall when he writes

    Ordinary people will suffer because of Obama’s spiteful attempt to thwart the will of the American people.

    1. The ordinary people at best will suffer in 10 or 20 years because the shale gas industry didn’t care of environment protection.

    2. The ordinary people never and never would place industry’s interest above environmental interests, would they really be informed about what happens in the Continental Shelf Lands when the oil and gas industry irremediably destroys the environment.

    • I think “the ordinary people” can, and should, decide for themselves what best serves their economic interests, not Greenpeace or the Sierra Club.

      Environmentalists frequently like to pretend that the interests of industry and ordinary people must necessarily be in conflict when this is not actually true: Affordable energy from petroleum resources serves my interests as a consumer of energy AND ALSO serves the interests of industry that produces it for a profit. Environmental scaremongering is the tactic commonly used to create divisions and an illusion of conflict.

  53. The executive branch enforces the law. The executive branch has “discretion” in the level of enforcement they choose to use. President Trump will determine the appropriate level of “discretion”.
    By the time anyone wants to drill in these areas this “permanent action” will be just another one of Obama’s legacies in the dumpster.

    • Actually it’s called a Federal Court Injunction. Which would be easily granted due to the way the law is written.

      The injunction would remain in force until resolved by SCOTUS, or until Trump is no longer POTUS.

      • You don’t know whether the “injunction” will be granted or not. Most courts would look at a “lame duck” action by a president that can’t get his agenda enacted by the public’s representatives in congress, and decide not to “easily grant” the request. If you want to pass laws go through the proper channels. This back-door legislation, can be just as easily kicked out the back-door. That is why we have separation of powers. To limit this abuse of power. The courts are the group with the most to lose if we amass more power in the Executive branch.

  54. Why is the incumbent given two and a half months in office AFTER the November election during which to spike the incoming presidency if it is of a flavour he/she dislikes? This makes no sense, and is the real problem here. The USA should change to the UK election schedule where the winner starts in office the morning after the election night.

    • The date of the beginning of the Term of Office is Constitutionally Mandated — meaning another amendment would be needed to change the date.

      Statute sets Election Day, and for the reason cited above, no candidate wants to campaign over the Christmas Holidays.

      So fat chance it gets changed.

    • Not to mention the gap allows for transition between Administrations.

      There are approximately 4000 appointees that serve at the pleasure of POTUS — about 1400 must be confirmed by the Senate.

    • I think that some of the timing, dates and so forth, go back to the times they were put in place.
      (It took awhile for a horse to travel from Georgia or New Hampshire to the capitol.)

    • One would think that a candidate would have got a jump on things. As we see — that isn’t necessarily even close to the truth.

  55. Ordinary people have suffered in America for eight years under Obama’s spiteful rule and his thwarting of democracy, rational thought, and economic sense. A few more weeks of his insanity cannot add a great deal to the damage that he has already caused. Trump will move fast to fix it as he will not spend most of his time on the golf course.

  56. I can see Att-Gen Sessions sitting down with Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, and Rick Perry to plot how to make all these new rules go away on Day 1.

  57. This means little beyond the fact that the US will more aggressively pursue fracking, especially in areas like west Texas and North Dakota where the extraction process is still cheaper than in the hostile environment of the Arctic. In addition, Trump can push for the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline because if he still has to rely to some degree on foreign oil, what better source than Canada, particularly since its Prime Minister Justin Trudeau favors the project. So the ban is merely another hollow victory for the Greens who can’t recognize a losing battle even when it’s staring them in the face.

    • The Greens fund raise on battling “the man”. If they declared the battle lost, the greenbacks would stop. So, they will never declare defeat.

  58. Several new offshore discoveries in the past few years have given Alaskans new hope that the TAPS line can be kept running, thus keeping going the flow of oil royalties that each resident gets yearly (about $2000 iirc). If the pipeline dies, the state’s finances go dead and Alaska will possibly be a red state forever after.

  59. To have a mandate from the people of the USA, would Mr Tump not have to have recieved a larger proportion of the popular vote than his rival in the recent election of the electoral college?

    • in 49 states he won by 3 million votes … the will of California and NY should not override the rest of America …

  60. Only hurts the US + Canada – they’ll have to buy from Putin and the Saudi.

    Maybe american oil workers will hire abroad, Obama does no favor to America.

  61. While the legal discussion is interesting, my opinion of the logic is a bit different. In my opinion we are now involved in WW4, a war we are losing, the most significant victory to date has been the success in causing the price of energy to decline and harm our opponent. Keystone and the ND pipeline will add further downward pressure on oil and nat gas prices, downward pressure the North American producers will find difficult but we can adapt to, our opponents much less so. Obama’s efforts are aimed at helping our opponents plus making the ignorant greens happy. That’s my opinion from observing Obama and thinking of his life story.

  62. everyone does realize that what he did was withdraw those lands from being offered for lease …The US Government can hire anyone it wants to drill on those same lands … in other words the US Government still holds the drilling rights on those lands (Obama withdrew those rights from being leased) … doesn’t mean we can’t “hire” companies to drill :)

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