Boeve said that the Keystone XL pipeline company, Transcanada, as well as the rest of Big Oil should “take this as a very bad sign for their future.”

The Interior Department also noted that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) also denied requests from Shell and Statoil for extensions on their drilling leases, meaning the current lease for drilling in the Beaufort Sea will expire in 2017 and 2020 for the Chukchi Sea.

Miyoko Sakashita with the Center for Biological Diversity hailed the move as a “huge win for Arctic wildlife and our climate.”

“Americans have spoken time and again about the perils of Arctic drilling,” Sakashita said. “It’s gratifying to see these leases finally cancelled and now it’s time to declare the Arctic off-limits to drilling forever.”

Echoing the sentiments of other groups, that want to see the administration follow through with strong decisions against the Keystone XL pipeline and fossil fuel leasing on public lands, Sakashita added: “It can’t stop here though: It’s time to take the next step and pledge to keep this oil in the ground and transition quickly to energy sources that are safer, smarter and better for all of us.”

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