As expected, environmental groups have filed a lawsuit over an order President Trump signed last week to reverse a ban on Arctic offshore oil and gas leasing.
Late last year, then-President Obama withdrew most of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas from the possibility of leasing, for an indefinite period of time. The law Obama used, section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, doesn’t say anything about how a president can undo a withdrawal of this kind.
Ten environmental groups claim in their suit that the protection was permanent and Trump didn’t have the authority to reverse it.
The lawsuit is filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.
The lawsuit does not mention a separate 12(a) withdrawal Trump reversed for the Bering Sea.
The plaintiffs are:
League of Conservation Voters
Natural Resources Defense Council
Alaska Wilderness League
Defenders of Wildlife
Northern Alaska Environmental Center
Resisting Environmental Destruction On Indigenous Lands
Center for Biological Diversity
The Wilderness Society