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Judge Says Groups Can Sue To Keep Arctic, Atlantic Drill Ban

Above Photo: Aisha Franz/Flickr

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s reversal of a ban on petroleum drilling in most of the Arctic Ocean and Atlantic underwater canyons can move forward.

Federal court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled Monday in Anchorage, Alaska, that environmental groups can sue to keep the ban in place.

Former President Barack Obama withdrew Arctic waters under provisions of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Obama also banned exploration in 5,937 square miles (15,377 square kilometers) of Atlantic Ocean canyon complexes.

Environmental groups say presidents can permanently withdraw areas but the law makes no provision to reopen areas.

Trump in April ordered an Interior Department review of the ban with the goal of exploration in the offshore areas.

Gleason ruled the plaintiffs have standing in the case and it can move forward.

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