Biden DOI Suspends Oil And Gas Leases In Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

"Interior Secretary Deb Haaland orders new environmental review of the leasing program, saying the Trump administration did an ‘insufficient analysis’ of drilling’s impact"

"The Biden administration on Tuesday suspended oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, targeting one of President Donald Trump’s most significant environmental acts during his last days in office.

The move by the Interior Department, which could spark a major legal battle, dims the prospect of oil drilling in a pristine and politically charged expanse of Alaskan wilderness that Republicans and Democrats have fought over for four decades. The Trump administration auctioned off the right to drill in the refuge’s coastal plain — home to hundreds of thousands of migrating caribou and waterfowl as well as the southern Beaufort Sea’s remaining polar bears — just two weeks before President Biden was inaugurated.

Now the Biden administration is taking steps to block those leases, citing problems with the environmental review process. In Tuesday’s Interior Department order, Secretary Deb Haaland said that a review of the Trump administration’s leasing program in the wildlife refuge found “multiple legal deficiencies” including “insufficient analysis” required by environmental laws and a failure to assess other alternatives. Haaland’s order calls for a temporary moratorium on all activities related to those leases in order to conduct “a new, comprehensive analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the oil and gas program.”"

Juliet Eilperin and Joshua Partlow report for the Washington Post June 1, 2021.


"Biden Suspends Drilling Leases in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" (New York Times)

"Biden Suspends Oil Leases In Alaska’s Arctic Refuge" (AP)

Source: Washington Post, 06/02/2021