Obama expected to permanently ban drilling in swaths of Atlantic, Arctic

HONOLULU (AP) – President Barack Obama is expected to order wide swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans placed permanently off-limits for oil drilling, in an 11th-hour push for environmental protection before he leaves office.

That’s according to people briefed on the administration’s plan who requested anonymity to discuss the decision before an announcement, which they expect Tuesday.

The White House is declining to comment.

The move helps put some finishing touches on Obama’s environmental legacy while also challenging Donald Trump. The president-elect has promised to unleash the nation’s untapped oil and natural gas reserves.

Environmental groups are hoping the ban will be difficult for a future president to reverse, even though it relies on executive powers.

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