U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing to block the sale of new offshore drilling rights in much of the U.S. Arctic and parts of the Atlantic, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the decision.
Obama's move, which could come as soon as Tuesday, will give him the liberty to withdraw U.S. waters from future oil and gas leasing, Bloomberg said on Monday.
It said Obama was expected to invoke a provision in a 1953 law that had been used sparingly until now to preserve coral reefs and marine sanctuaries.
Related actions by Canada may be announced around the same time, Bloomberg added.
The White House declined to comment.