Biden suspends oil and gas leases at Alaska refuge pending review
National Arctic Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
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President Joe Biden’s administration will suspend oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending a review of their environmental impacts, the US Department of the Interior said on Tuesday.
The action reverses one of former President Donald Trump’s iconic efforts to expand fossil fuel and mineral development in the United States.
During his campaign, Biden pledged to protect the habitat of 19.6 million acres for polar bears, caribou and migratory birds.
“President Biden believes America’s national treasures are the cultural and economic cornerstones of our country and is grateful for the Home Office’s swift action to suspend all rental contracts pending a review of decisions taken in the last days of the administration that could have changed the situation. character of this special place forever, ”White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said in a statement.
Alaska-based Green groups, which had filed a lawsuit to end the lease sale, applauded the move.
The first flyer sale in the refuge, held two weeks before Trump left in January, garnered limited interest from the oil and gas industry and generated high bids of just $ 14.4 millions of dollars.
The entities that won the leases were not immediately available for comment.