The Obama administration is planning to block any oil drilling in the Arctic and much of the Atlantic until 2022, the Guardian reported.
The move represents a final year executive action through the Interior Department that could be announced as early as Tuesday, according to the British newspaper. It is part of the administration’s agenda to fight climate change, but it could also impact the nation’s energy needs.
The anticipated move comes after a visit from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In a joint statement, the leaders said oil and gas exploration in the polar region “must align with science-based standards between the two nations that ensure appropriate preparation for operating in Arctic conditions, including robust and effective well control and emergency response measures.”
Many energy companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron have wanted the Atlantic coast off the United States open for drilling. Republicans have also favored expanded offshore drilling.
But the drilling ban is in line with the environmental lobby, which has supported Obama and Democrats.
The new policy would be similar to what both Democratic presidential candidates running to succeed Obama — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — have called for.