"The Trump administration on Thursday said it would seek to open up the entire coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, picking the most aggressive development option for an area long closed to drilling.
In filing a final environmental impact statement, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management took a key step closer to holding an oil and gas lease sale for the nearly 1.6 million-acre coastal plain, which is part of the 19.3 million-acre ANWR.
The administration said its preferred plan would call for the construction of as many as four places for airstrips and well pads, 175 miles of roads, vertical supports for pipelines, a seawater treatment plant and a barge landing and storage site.
The refuge — home to polar bears, wolves, migratory birds and the porcupine caribou herd — has long been closed off to oil and gas exploration despite long-standing interest among members of the petroleum industry. Climate change has made the area more delicate as melting ice has driven threatened polar bears to spend more time in dens along the refuge’s coastal plain."