Washington — Tuesday, the Biden administration, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and the U.S. Department of the Interior announced via Notice of Intent in the Federal Register plans to begin a new environmental review of oil and gas development on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Statement by Kristen Miller, Acting Executive Director, Alaska Wilderness League:
“We applaud the Biden administration for its continued commitment to protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and honoring the Gwich’in people. As we continue to face a worsening climate crisis, there is no place for the rushed, inadequate Arctic Refuge oil and gas plan finalized under the previous administration. President Biden and Secretary Haaland recognized serious flaws in the Arctic Refuge leasing program completed by the Trump administration and the need for a robust environmental review of oil and gas development in one of the world’s most exceptional ecosystems.
“Today’s announcement is undeniably good news for the Arctic Refuge, but there is still more work to be done. The Trump administration aggressively moved to get leases into the hands of oil companies prior to the end of its only term, and until those leases are canceled and the Arctic Refuge drilling mandate reversed, one of the wildest places left in America will remain under threat. We call on the Biden administration to buy back those leases and Congress to repeal the oil leasing mandate as part of the upcoming budget package, restoring protections to the Arctic Refuge coastal plain.”