(CNN) – President Obama is keeping busy in the final weeks of his time in office. Just recently, he’s made moves to address key parts of his agenda. They’re meant to solidify his legacy, and make them harder to un-do by his successor.
President Obama, moving to secure his legacy on the environment and beyond, before he hands the presidency to Donald Trump.
Tuesday, new measures to bar offshore drilling indefinitely in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans in part to prevent environmental disasters like the BP oil spill.
President Obama said, “I share people’s concerns about offshore drilling. I remember the BP spill in the gulf of Mexico all too well.”
It’s an issue that has been front and center for the president, who sees climate change as the greatest threat facing future generations, and believes the U.S. and the world, must do more to combat it.
Obama said, “We’re not moving fast enough. And for the sake of our kids, we’ve got to keep going. America has to lead the world in transitioning to a clean energy economy.”
President Obama’s last minute move is based on a 64-year-old law not an easily reversible executive order, creating a legal hurdle for the incoming president, a climate change skeptic who has vowed to pull out of the Paris climate accords and to increase domestic energy production.
Donald Trump said, “Every energy dollar that isn’t harvested here in America is harvested instead in a foreign country, often foreign countries not very friendly to us.”
However, the president isn’t just taking action on the environment. He’s also preparing to transfer an additional 17 or 18 inmates from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay Cuba, to other countries according to the New York Times, slashing the remaining population there by nearly a third, though stopping short of fulfilling his 2008 campaign promise to close the prison.
Obama said, “It will be judged harshly by history, and I will continue to do all that I can to remove this blot on our national honor.”
President-elect Trump has promised to not only keep the prison open, but to fill it up with quote “some bad dudes.” Obama also this week granting clemency to 231 people, mostly drug offenders, the most ever in one day, bringing the total number to a new record for any presidency.
The white house signaling there are more acts of clemency to come, all part of a broader criminal justice reform effort. These final moves aimed at solidifying his agenda.
Julian Zelizer, of Princeton University said, “They’re all issues that he’s talked about a lot and that he’s attempted to get action on but all three are issues where he’s been extraordinarily frustrated and unable to really move congress.”
The president running through the tape and presenting a series of direct challenges to Trump.