February 22, 2024

Memorandum on Withdrawal of Certain Areas off the United States Arctic Coast of the Outer Continental Shelf from Oil or Gas Leasing

Memorandum on Withdrawal of Certain Areas off the United States Arctic Coast of the Outer Continental Shelf from Oil or Gas Leasing

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
 
SUBJECT:       Withdrawal of Certain Areas off the United States
               Arctic Coast of the Outer Continental Shelf from
               Oil or Gas Leasing
 
 
Consistent with principles of responsible public stewardship, and (1) with due consideration of the irreplaceable marine and coastal environments — including for marine mammals, other wildlife, wildlife habitat, scientific research, and Alaska Native subsistence use — of the Beaufort Sea area of the Outer Continental Shelf; (2) independently with due consideration of the vulnerability of the ecosystems and coastal communities to oil spills, particularly where limited or no oil and gas development has yet occurred; and (3) independently with due consideration of the national need to curtail, mitigate, build resilience against, and adapt to the devastating and irreversible consequences of climate change for the human environment and for the marine and coastal environments, I hereby direct as follows:
 
Under the authority granted to me in section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1341(a), I hereby withdraw from disposition by oil or gas leasing for a time period without specific expiration the areas designated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as the Beaufort Planning Area of the Outer Continental Shelf that have not previously been withdrawn.  
 
The boundaries of the withdrawn areas are more specifically delineated in the attached map.  The map forms a part of this memorandum.  The withdrawal directed by this memorandum prevents consideration of withdrawn areas for any future oil or gas leasing for purposes of exploration, development, or production.
 
Nothing in this withdrawal affects rights under existing leases in the withdrawn areas.

                               JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2023/03/13/memorandum-on-withdrawal-of-certain-areas-off-the-united-states-arctic-coast-of-the-outer-continental-shelf-from-oil-or-gas-leasing/