Dear Friend,

This year Democracy Now! is celebrating our 25th anniversary—that's 25 years of bringing you fearless, independent reporting. Since our very first broadcast in 1996, Democracy Now! has refused to take government or corporate funding, because nothing is more important to us than our editorial independence. But that means we rely on you, our audience, for support. If everyone who tunes into Democracy Now! signed up for a monthly donation of just $10, we could cover our operating costs for the entire year. Please do your part today. Right now, a generous donor will even DOUBLE your first monthly gift, which means it’ll go twice as far! This is a challenging time for us all, but if you're able to start a new monthly donation, please don’t delay. We’re counting on your support. Thank you and remember, wearing a mask is an act of love.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Bill McKibben: Climate Activists Celebrate Obama’s Arctic Drilling Freeze & Harper’s Canadian Defeat

Media Options

In a victory for environmentalists, President Obama has ended the possibility of oil drilling in the Arctic for the rest of his tenure. The Obama administration has canceled plans to sell new drilling leases and refused to extend leases that were previously sold. The move comes after Shell halted its $7 billion bid to drill for oil in the Arctic amid a series of setbacks and tireless activist opposition. Activists are also celebrating the election outcome in Canada, where voters unseated three-term Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a major backer of carbon-intensive oil extraction and a foe of global climate regulation. We get reaction from Bill McKibben, head of, one of the nation’s leading climate activist groups.

Related Story

StorySep 14, 2021Fairy Creek: Indigenous-Led Blockade of Old-Growth Logging Is Now Canada’s Largest Civil Disobedience
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Bill McKibben, if you could comment quickly, before we go to Congressmember Lieu on another issue, on two developments? Friday, the Obama administration quietly said they will no longer issue leases for drilling in the Arctic. You know, Shell had said they’re going to stop, but then the Obama administration said this, number one. And, two, the victory of Justin Trudeau, the new prime minister-designate of Canada, his support for the Keystone XL, what that means? But start with the Obama administration.

BILL McKIBBEN: So, in the Arctic, look, what a victory for brave activists, especially in the Northwest, those kayaktivists, whose pictures you showed, blocking the harbors in Portland and Seattle. Shell claimed that they didn’t find much oil in the Arctic. What they really found was way more trouble than they bargained for.

As for Canada, the election results, I mean, who knows exactly effect it will have on Keystone? But it must be said that in the last seven or eight weeks, the two most fossil-fueled Western leaders, Tony Abbott in Australia and Stephen Harper in Canada, are out on their ear. It’s not as if, you know, all our problems are solved by that, but it’s a pretty good sign of where the momentum suddenly is. I don’t think that—just as the Arctic isn’t going to be fully developed for oil, I don’t think that those expansion plans for the tar sands, where they were going to double and triple and quadruple production, I don’t think they look very healthy today, either.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Next story from this daily show

U.S. Sells New Warships to Saudi Arabia Despite Warnings of War Crimes & Civilian Deaths in Yemen

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation