The Stream, December 21: President Obama Protects Arctic Water from Drilling

The Global Rundown

President Obama used a 1953 law to permanently restrict oil drilling off the coast of Alaska. He invoked the same law to restrict drilling in 31 ocean canyons off the Atlantic coast. Republicans called the plan “an abuse of power.” In a bid backed by the prime minister, cities across India began using municipal bonds to jump start water infrastructure spending. In Michigan, the state attorney general brought formal criminal charges against two Flint city managers and two city workers over their involvement in the ongoing lead crisis. The city managers were charged with “false pretenses, conspiracy to commit false pretenses, misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty in office.” Finally, somewhere in the cold, icy asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the dwarf planet Ceres is harboring more water than expected.

“All too prevalent in this Flint water investigation was a priority on balance sheets and finances rather than health and safety of the citizens of Flint” – Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette. (New York Times)

By The Numbers

125 million Acres now protected off the northern coast of Alaska from oil drilling. USA Today

46 Number of years Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose, two city emergency mangers, could spend in prison if convicted for their involvement in the Flint lead crisis. New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

A survey by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has found signs of a slushy, salty ocean deep within the dwarf planet Ceres. The largest object in the asteroid belt, Ceres is much wetter than expected based on earlier studies of neighboring Vesta, NASA says. In addition to potential liquid water, surface ice trapped in the shadows of deep creators and a vast frozen ocean just below the Ceres crust probably exist as well. Washington Post.

On The Radar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 100 Cities by 2020 project aims to bring clean water, sanitation, and upgraded public transport to India via a smart city bond initiative. Projects in the city of Pune, for example, aim to bring running water to over 3 million people. Bloomberg