Biden administration to cancel oil and gas leases in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The Interior Department will suspend several oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Tuesday, according to three individuals briefed on the decision, overturning one of Donald Trump’s most significant environmental acts during his last days in office.

The move, which could spark a major legal battle, aims to unwind nearly a dozen leases in the heart of a pristine expanse in Alaska that Republicans and Democrats have fought over for four decades. The Trump administration auctioned off the right to drill in the refuge’s coastal plain — home to hundreds of thousands of migrating caribou and waterfowl as well as the Southern Beaufort Sea’s remaining polar bears —just two weeks before President Biden was inaugurated.

Several individuals briefed on the Biden administration’s decision, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it had not been formally announced yet, said Interior would halt the leases on the grounds that Trump officials rushed the Jan. 6 auction and did not follow proper procedures.

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