WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday permanently banned new oil and gas drilling in federal waters in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, in one of his last environmental pushes before he leaves office next month.
In protecting the waters, Obama used a 1950s-era law called the Outer Continental Shelf Act that allows presidents to limit areas from mineral leasing and drilling. Environmental groups said Obama's use of the law meant the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump could not simply reverse the action but would have to fight it in the courts.
The ban affects federal waters off Alaska in the Chukchi Sea and most of the Beaufort Sea and in the Atlantic from New England to Chesapeake Bay. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Peter Cooney)