Sen. Murkowski shows the pen the president used to sign the order. (Photo by Liz Ruskin)Today, President Trump signed an order lifting a ban his predecessor imposed on drilling off Alaska’s Arctic shores. Environmental groups claim the ban is permanent and they intend to file a legal challenge.Listen nowThe order is entitled “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy.” The signing ceremony was in the White House Roosevelt Room. Congress members from oil states crowded around the president, including the full Alaska delegation.“It’s going to lead to a lot of great wealth for our country and a lot of great jobs for our country,” Trump said. “So God bless America, thank you very much.”Trump then signed the order. He gave Sen. Lisa Murkowski the pen.The order tells the Interior secretary to reconsider the removal of the Arctic from the current offshore leasing plan, and it rescinds an order from President Obama that bans much of the Arctic from any future lease sale.Lois Epstein is Arctic Program Director for The Wilderness Society. Photo by Liz Ruskin.Conservation groups maintain Obama’s ban was permanent. Wilderness Society Arctic director Lois Epstein says the organizations intend to mount a legal challenge.“We’re prepared to do everything we can do to stop the opening of the Arctic Ocean to drilling,” Epstein said.Trump’s order also calls for a review of the Arctic-specific offshore drilling regulations and of the blowout prevention rule imposed after the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Epstein said rolling back the blowout rule would give advantage to the least safe operators.“That’s tragic,” Epstein said. “Really. And (it) can result in situations like the BP Deepwater Horizon where you had 11 deaths and over 200 million gallons released.”Murkowski said the rule is only slated for review. She especially likes that Trump’s order announces a national policy of encouraging energy exploration and production. She acknowledges other barriers remain for the offshore Arctic.“This is the first step,” Murkowski said. “We don’t have any producers that are poised to move.”Sen. Dan Sullivan said when Obama imposed the Arctic drilling ban, the administration didn’t even tell him in advance.“What a difference five months makes,” Sullivan said.Not only was he at the White House for the signing ceremony, but Sullivan said afterward the president invited him into the Oval Office. He said he thanked Trump for lifting Obama’s Arctic ban so quickly.“And the president mentioned, you know, that day in December when the former president did this (Arctic ban), the Russians must’ve been very excited,” Sullivan recounted. “And I said, ‘I think they were excited.’”Alaska Congressman Don Young is pleased with the order, too, but he was a little peeved Trump kept them waiting in the Roosevelt Room.“A good 20 minutes he was late,” Young said. “I don’t appreciate even the president being late. You know how I am.”Young said they spent the time talking to the vice president and two cabinet secretaries.