Douglas Brinkley says Obama Could Permanently Ban ANWR Drilling

Historians in the News

Still more than two months from his inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama has started promoting his policies and naming some of his advisers. And according to one historian, he could be developing a plan to permanently block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Douglas Brinkley, a noted presidential historian and professor at Rice University in Houston, told viewers of CNN’s Nov. 11 “Lou Dobbs Tonight” how Obama could change ANWR’s designation from a National Wildlife Refuge to a National Monument. That power was granted to presidents by the Antiquities Act of 1906, and would not require any approval from Congress.

“I think what they’re trying to do is in the Obama administration, start pointing out some clear divot spots where they’re going to deviate from the Bush administration –things like Guantanamo, things that, ‘No, we are not going to be for drilling around parks,’” Brinkley said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised in the coming year if you see someplace like ANWR in Alaska turn from being a wildlife refuge run by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and turn over to becoming a National Monument where you couldn’t drill. So you’re going to be, and that’s because you’re going to have to do some things sort of on the cheap,” he said.
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