Santa will not be giving a lump of coal or any other form of fossil fuel to Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama this year. In fact, Santa, elves, and all the critters of the North must be celebrating because of an important agreement signed by both Canada and the United States this week that you might have missed. It will prohibit drilling for oil in sensitive Arctic waters for at least five years, which will take us through the Age of Doom, otherwise known as the first and hopefully only Trump term.
A response to the news by the Natural Resources Defense Council includes these thoughts:
The joint U.S. and Canadian announcement recognizes the benefit of both countries acting together to protect the shared Arctic region. The U.S. announcement indefinitely puts off limits from offshore oil and gas the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. And Canada agreed to “designate all Arctic Canadian waters as indefinitely off limits to future offshore Arctic oil and gas licensing”, with a review every five years.
The Arctic Ocean is remote and icy, hypersensitive, and an impossible place to clean up oil. So this decision recognizes that “the only safe Arctic Ocean drilling is no drilling at all” since there is a high chance of a spill. NRDC analysis of spills in the U.S. Arctic found that they would have devastating impacts on both the U.S. and Canadian Arctic region.
Officials in Alaska and some American lawmakers are already grumpy about this agreement, saying it favours Canada. Well, when don't they make this claim? No doubt oil companies are annoyed.