The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge just got a reprieve—but it’s not safe yet
The U.S. recently announced it would suspend oil and gas leases in a pristine Alaskan ecosystem. But many environmental battles await the million-acre refuge.
The Biden administration’s decision this week to review new Trump-era oil leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a positive step, experts and environmentalists say. But it falls far short of a final resolution of the long-running battle over the refuge.
For 40 years, politicians have been fighting over whether to allow companies to drill for oil and gas in the pristine wilderness. It wasn’t until President Donald Trump’s final days in office that leases were auctioned off.
The lease sales, conducted amid economic uncertainty in the oil industry and growing public concern over climate change,brought in substantially less revenue than what Alaskan state officials were anticipating. (Read more about why industry interest in Arctic drilling is waning.)