Plots of land for oil and gas production were issued by former US President Donald Trump in a wildlife sanctuary in Alaska. This has provoked objections from environmentalists and indigenous peoples.
Biden's Department of the Interior said it had notified tenants, including Alaska authorities. In response, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Department, which owns seven ANWR leases, and Alaska officials said they were disappointed with the decision.
Kristen Miller, acting executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, hailed suspension of the Arctic leasing program, which she said was the result of a flawed legal process under Trump.
“Suspending these leases is a step in the right direction, and we commend the Biden administration for committing to a new program analysis that prioritizes sound science and adequate tribal consultation,” she said.
More action is needed, Miller said, calling for a permanent cancellation of the leases and repeal of the 2017 law mandating drilling in the refuge’s coastal plain.
It should be noted that Alaska is home to many polar bears, caribou and migratory birds. Therefore, during his election campaign, Biden promised to protect the pristine habitat of these animals.
As a reminder, on August 18, 2020, the Donald Trump administration approved its plan to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for oil and gas development.
This decision lays the groundwork for a legal battle with conservationists over the fate of a large remote coastal plain on which the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge stretches. This area is considered the largest protected area in the United States, which is protected and where for more than sixty years there is a ban on any exploration work.