The Future Belongs to Visionaries

President Obama has a unique opportunity to help safeguard our climate, our children’s health, and our coasts by permanently protecting the U.S. Arctic and Atlantic oceans from future oil and gas leasing.

President Obama, Permanently protect the Arctic and Atlantic from offshore drilling.

Our children deserve a clean, healthy, climate-safe future. Please build on your environmental leadership and ensure Big Oil never expands into the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Not now. Not in five years. Not ever. Take them off the table for offshore drilling, once and for all.

The president has a unique opportunity to help safeguard our climate, our children’s health, and our coasts by permanently protecting the outer continental shelf of the U.S. Arctic and Atlantic oceans—which is owned by the American public—from future oil and gas leasing. Along with this action, we must invest in a just transition to clean energy in all communities.

Preserving and protecting the Arctic and Atlantic will help demonstrate to the world that the United States is making good on its climate commitments. That starts by keeping the oil industry from expanding into these offshore waters and starting to move the federal government out of the polluting fossil-fuel business and toward clean energy. This will also lay the foundation for regions that are most affected by fossil-fuel extraction to transition toward a cleaner and safer future. Residents of places like the Gulf of Mexico have borne the brunt of fossil-fuel extraction—from oil spills and toxic pollution to devastating floods and hurricanes—for far too long.

As a nation, we have a choice. We can move forward with clean energy and preserve our vital waters, or we can let the oil industry expand drilling that threatens our health and environment. The smarter energy choice is investing more in renewable sources—like wind and solar power—that are clean and provide good jobs, rather than dirty sources that hurt our communities, worsen climate change, and harm our health through air and water pollution.

President Obama has made historic progress in the fight against climate change. And he’s protected more public lands and waters than any president in history. Now he has an opportunity to build on that incredible environmental record.

Here are the top five reasons why President Obama should grant our Arctic and Atlantic oceans permanent protection right now:

Climate Science

Proven fossil-fuel supplies already far exceed what the science says we can afford to burn to prevent catastrophic climate change. To benefit the climate, we have to leave the Arctic and Atlantic oceans’ unproven reserves safely unburned—forever. It is not enough to keep these fossil fuels under the ocean for only five years.

Clean Energy Must Power the Future

Oil production in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans—if feasible at all—would take decades to reach the pump and after the transition to cleaner fuels must already have taken hold.

Where There's Drilling, There's Spilling

Time and again, we've seen what follows when we drill for oil: dangerous spills. A major spill in either the Arctic or Atlantic oceans would be devastating and put the health of our communities, wildlife, shorelines, and many established industries that depend on healthy oceans at grave risk. 

Global Leadership

Taking the Arctic and Atlantic oceans off the table for good would demonstrate the importance of no longer dedicating national resources to fossil-fuel development. In contrast, if world governments continue to flood markets with fossil fuels, they will slow the adoption of clean energy solutions and encourage investment in polluting energy.

Permanence Is Crucial

President Obama has the authority to permanently protect these publicly owned seas from any future drilling. He can help protect the climate and ensure that our spectacular, undeveloped Arctic and Atlantic oceans are not left to an uncertain fate.

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Ocean Fossil Fuels

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