White House Issues Memorandum Withdrawing Bulk of Alaska's Arctic OCS and Portions of Atlantic OCS from Oil and Gas Drilling
Today the White House pulled the plug on offshore drilling leases in the bulk of the Arctic offshore Alaska and portions of the Atlantic outer continental shelf (OCS).

“The United States is designating the vast majority of U.S. waters in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indefinitely off limits to offshore oil and gas leasing, and Canada will designate all Arctic Canadian waters as indefinitely off limits to future off...

12/20/2016 Presidential Memorandum Withdrawing OCS Areas from Mineral Leasing

Presidential Memorandum -- Withdrawal of Certain Areas off the Atlantic Coast on the Outer Continental Shelf from Mineral Leasing

December 20, 2016


SUBJECT: Withdrawal of Certain Areas off the Atlantic Coast on the Outer Continental Shelf from Mineral Leasing

Consistent with principles of responsible public stewardship entrusted to this office, with due consideration of the critical importance of canyons along the edge of the Atlantic continental shelf for marine mammals, deep water corals, other wildlife, and wildlife habitat, and to ensure that the unique resources associated with these canyons remain available for future generations, I hereby direct as follows:

Under the authority granted to me in section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1341(a), I hereby withdraw from disposition by leasing for a time period without specific expiration the areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) associated with 26 major canyons and canyon complexes offshore the Atlantic coast lying within areas currently designated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as the North Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic Planning Areas. The boundaries are delineated in the attached map and accompanying table of OCS blocks. Both the map and the table form a part of this memorandum. This withdrawal prevents consideration of this area for any future mineral leasing for purposes of exploration, development, or production.

Nothing in this withdrawal affects rights under existing leases in the withdrawn areas.


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