Technically, the gas and oil ban is not an executive order, because a little-known provision in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953 says the president “may, from time to time, withdraw” federal waters that are not already leased from oil and gas development.
Mmmmmmmmm … call me crazy, but I don’t think indefinitely removing millions of acres of federal waters from oil and gas development quite fits the spirit of “from time to time.”
But that’s Obama all over. Although he has not issued as many executive orders as former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, he has used them to do a lot more “ruling from the throne” with his famous pen.
He explained why in the same interview where he said Trump should go to the trouble to pass legislation. See, HE only switched from getting bills passed to ruling by fiat because the stupid old voters went and stole his congressional majorities.
“In my first two years I wasn’t relying on executive powers because I had big majorities in the Congress and we were able to get bills done, get bills passed,” Obama said.
One of Obama’s sweeping, non-legislative, “I’ve got a pen” executive orders would have allowed millions of illegal immigrants to be shielded from deportations and apply for work authorization programs. The Supreme Court blocked it earlier this year.
Trump has said his use of executive orders will “serve a much better purpose” than what Obama’s done.