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A Shell drilling vessel drifted aground off Sitkalidak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. (Photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis/U.S. Coast Guard)

'Huge Victory for Our Oceans': Trump Effort to Open Arctic to Oil and Gas Drilling Ruled Illegal

"The judge's ruling today shows that the president cannot just trample on the constitution to do the bidding of his cronies in the fossil fuel industry at the expense of our oceans, wildlife, and climate."

Jake Johnson

Preserving over 120 million acres of federal waters from exploitation by fossil fuel giants, a federal judge ruled late Friday that President Donald Trump's effort to open the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans to oil and gas drilling is illegal.

"President Trump's lawlessness is catching up with him," said Erik Grafe, the lead attorney for Earthjustice who helped argue the case against the Trump administration. "The judge's ruling today shows that the president cannot just trample on the constitution to do the bidding of his cronies in the fossil fuel industry at the expense of our oceans, wildlife, and climate."

U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason ruled (pdf) that Trump's April 2017 executive order revoking the Obama administration's ban on drilling in most of the Arctic was "unlawful."

The Trump administration is expected to appeal the decision, which applies to 98 percent of the Arctic.

As Alaska Public Media reported: "Gleason’s decision was the second one she released Friday in favor of environmental groups. In a different lawsuit, she rejected a Trump administration effort to facilitate construction of a road through a national wildlife refuge on the Alaska Peninsula."

Gleason's decisions came just over a week after the Trump administration's fossil fuel agenda also hit a roadblock in Wyoming, where a federal judge temporarily blocked fracking on 300,000 acres of public land.

"Experts in environmental law estimate that the Trump administration has now lost about 40 environmental cases in federal courts," the New York Times reported.


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'Cleaner Air Is Coming' as London Expands Vehicle Pollution Fee to Entire Metro Area

"Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because of long-term exposure to air pollution, with the greatest number of deaths in outer London boroughs," noted Mayor Sadiq Khan in announcing the expansion.

Brett Wilkins ·


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Up to 90% of sharks targeted by the lucrative fin trade will now be protected, said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


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The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority said Ben-Gvir's elevation to national security minister could have a "catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

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"A toxic mix of crises—conflicts, climate, skyrocketing costs, and the ripple effects of the Ukraine war—are inflicting a devastating toll on the forcibly displaced. This is being felt across the world, but women and girls are particularly suffering."

Brett Wilkins ·


Greta Thunberg Joins 630+ Young People in Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against Sweden

"The Swedish state fails to meet the constitutional requirement to promote sustainable development leading to a good environment for present and future generations," said the plaintiffs.

Julia Conley ·

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