Biden Aims to End Arctic Drilling. A Trump-Era Law Could Foil His Plans

"The administration suspended leases that were auctioned in the waning days of the Trump White House. But a 2017 law requires another sale."

"WASHINGTON — President Biden may be forced to hold a new lease sale for oil drilling in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, despite his vows to slash fossil fuel pollution and his action this week to suspend Arctic drilling leases that had been awarded in the final days of the Trump administration.

A law passed by the Republican-controlled Congress in 2017 requires the president to hold two lease sales in the refuge before the end of 2024. President Donald Trump held the first; now legal experts say the Biden administration could be locked into holding a second sale.

The 2017 law was a major achievement for Mr. Trump, who sought to permanently open up millions of acres of public lands to oil and gas drilling, including the Coastal Plain of the Alaskan refuge, about 1.5 million acres along the Arctic Ocean that are thought to overlie enormous oil reserves. The refuge is one of the last remaining stretches of untouched wilderness in the United States, home to migrating caribou, birds and polar bears."

Coral Davenport and Henry Fountain report for the New York Times June 2, 2021.


"Explainer: The Suspension Of Arctic Refuge Drilling Leases" (AP)

"Biden Freezes Oil Leases In Alaska Refuge Pending New Environmental Review" (Politico)

"Dunleavy Vows To Defend State-Owned Oil Leases In ANWR As Biden Threatens Suspension; Biden Offers An Olive Branch With Approval Of NPR-A Oil Project" (Frontiersman)

"What Comes Next for ANWR?" (Regulatory Review)

Source: NYTimes, 06/03/2021