Obama heads north to Alaska, where drilling decision looms large

U.S. President Obama delivers a speech at the Andrew P. Sanchez Community Center in Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, LouisianaBy Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Saturday defended his decision to allow Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean under what he said were rigorous standards, fending off criticism by environmental groups. The trip is part of a broad campaign to seal an international deal later this year to curb carbon emissions, something the White House hopes will cap Obama’s legacy on climate during his time in office. While Obama pushes the world to wean itself from fossil fuels, his administration gave Shell the green light earlier this month to drill in the oil-rich Chukchi Sea.

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