Billionaire Tom Steyer calls for permanent ban on offshore drilling in Atlantic, Arctic

NextGen Climate, a political activist group focused on climate change, has called on US President Barack Obama to use his executive authority to permanently protect the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from hazardous offshore drilling.

After the election results took the world by surprise, energy sector analysts were quick to point out that the new U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, will probably be a more positive outcome for the oil and gas industry than Hillary Clinton would be.

However, Trump has also said that climate change is a hoax, and that he would “eliminate a moratorium on coal leasing and open-shale extraction,” leading the analysts to conclude his election could be a blow to the renewable energy industry.

That meant that many activists propagating a greener future see the next President as a threat to that future.

One such group, NextGen Climate, led by the billionaire hedge fund manager/environmental activist Tom Steyer, said on Tuesday that it would call for additional action to protect the climate. The group, which was paying for anti-Trump ads in the run-up to the election, also labeled Trump’s energy agenda as ‘dangerous.’

Steyer, NextGen Climate President, said: “The Trump Administration has the potential to do serious damage to our climate—but in the last few months of his presidency, President Obama can take concrete steps to secure his environmental legacy.

“We will continue to support bold action by President Obama to fight for our families, and we will keep pushing back against Trump’s dark vision and dangerous plans for our country.”

Steyer is the founder and former co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital which manages $20 billion in capital for institutions and high-net-worth individuals. He himself has a reported net worth of $1.6 billion.

In March 2016, the Obama Administration announced a plan that temporarily bans offshore drilling in the Atlantic and parts of the Arctic Ocean from offshore oil and gas offshore drilling.

Now, NextGen Climate is calling on President Obama to use his authority under Section 12a of the Outer Continental Shelf Act to permanently protect both areas from future drilling.

The group called offshore drilling ‘a serious threat to the climate, marine wildlife, and coastal communities in the United States’ and in order to avoid these risks NextGen said that fossil fuels must remain ‘in the ground.’

NextGen said that, since Election Day, thousands of Americans from around the country signed up to volunteer with the group to help block Donald Trump’s ‘toxic agenda.’

Furthermore, the group said that it would organize its volunteers around ‘additional specific actions’ to “protect the climate, the United States and their families from Donald Trump.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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