Obama expected to bar drilling in swaths of Atlantic, Arctic

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  • FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. Obama said one of his missions after leaving office will be to develop a new generation of leaders on issues such as climate change, criminal justice reform and expanding health insurance coverage. Obama said in the interview with NPR airing Monday, Dec. 19, that the issues he cares most about will be well served when that new generation moves into positions of authority. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. Obama said one of his missions after leaving office will be to develop a new generation of ... leaders on issues such as climate change, criminal justice reform and expanding health insurance coverage. Obama said in the interview with NPR airing Monday, Dec. 19, that the issues he cares most about will be well served when that new generation moves into positions of authority. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 14, 2015, file photo, the oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer is towed toward a dock in Elliott Bay in Seattle. The rig was the first of two drilling rigs Royal Dutch Shell was outfitting for Arctic oil exploration. President Barack Obama is expected to order wide swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans placed permanently off-limits for oil drilling, in an 11th-hour push for environmental protection before he leaves office.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

    FILE - In this May 14, 2015, file photo, the oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer is towed toward a dock in Elliott Bay in Seattle. The rig was the first of two drilling rigs Royal Dutch Shell was outfitting for Arctic oil exploration. President Barack ... Obama is expected to order wide swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans placed permanently off-limits for oil drilling, in an 11th-hour push for environmental protection before he leaves office. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) (The Associated Press)

President Barack Obama is expected to order wide swaths of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans placed permanently off-limits for oil drilling, in an 11th-hour push for environmental protection before he leaves office.

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That's according to people briefed on the administration's plan who requested anonymity to discuss the decision before an announcement, which they expect Tuesday.

The White House is declining to comment.

The move helps put some finishing touches on Obama's environmental legacy while also challenging Donald Trump. The president-elect has promised to unleash the nation's untapped oil and natural gas reserves.

Environmental groups are hoping the ban will be difficult for a future president to reverse, even though it relies on executive powers.