File - In this Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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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 Republican President-elect Donald Trump could not simply reverse the action but would have to fight it in the courts.The law under which Obama is acting enables a president to withdraw certain areas from leasing or drilling "for any public purpose," such as to limit the impacts of climate change, according to a legal briefing by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Earth Justice.
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