Tags: anwr | alaska | oil | gas | leases

NY Times: Biden Likely to Scuttle Alaska Wildlife Refuge Oil Leases

caribou arctic national wildlife refuge
Caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 November 2020 04:48 PM

Any oil and gas leases issued for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska under the Trump administration likely will be scuttled by a Biden administration if or when it comes into office, The New York Times said Tuesday.

Former vice president and Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden vowed during the campaign to oppose petroleum exploration in the more than 30,000-square-mile region, and supporters intend to hold him to his pledge.

''President-elect Biden has made it clear that protecting the Arctic refuge from drilling is important to him,'' the Times quoted Brook Brisson, a senior staff attorney with the nonprofit public-interest law firm Trustees for Alaska. ''We trust that means his administration will use its executive authority to do just that.''

Besides opposition by any Biden administration, foes also foresee endless lawsuits, several of which already have been filed.

''Whoever wins these leases will walk into a minefield of litigation,'' the Times quoted Michael Gerrard, founder of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at the Columbia Law School.

The proposal of drilling in ANWR has been disputed since 1977, when a geologist for British Petroleum testified before Congress about the enormous potential of recoverable oil in the region along the north coast of Alaska.

The then-Republican-controlled Congress authorized the drilling when it passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Trump administration has advanced the concept to the point where the Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation was to begin the process of conducting seismic tests in December for geological formations that could contain oil.

The Marsh Creek East Seismic Exploration project intends to survey 487.8 square miles with equipment that will produce three-dimensional images of the subsurface.

The project would begin in early December by using forward-looking infrared radar — or FLIR — to search for polar bear dens. A second survey for bear dens would occur in January followed by the seismic tests, which would not occur until average snow depths reach 9 inches.

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Any oil and gas leases issued for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska under the Trump administration likely will be scuttled by a Biden administration if or when it comes into office, The New York Times said Tuesday. Former vice president and Democratic...
anwr, alaska, oil, gas, leases
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2020-48-18
Wednesday, 18 November 2020 04:48 PM
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