Loading...

Interior Department Suspends Oil and Gas Leases in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

June 1, 2021 by Dan McCue
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in summer.

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior on Tuesday canceled all oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending a new environmental review.

The sale of the leases was one of the final acts of the Trump administration, occurring on the same day as the siege on the U.S. Capitol by angry Trump supporters.

“Today marks an important step forward fulfilling President Biden’s promise to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” said National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy.

“President Biden believes America’s national treasures are cultural and economic cornerstones of our country and he is grateful for the prompt action by the Department of the Interior to suspend all leasing pending a review of decisions made in the last administration’s final days that could have changed the character of this special place forever,” she said.

Secretarial Order 3401 directs the department to initiate a comprehensive environmental analysis to review the potential impacts of the program and to address legal deficiencies in the current leasing program’s earlier environmental review.

The White House said the department is notifying lessees that it is suspending oil and gas leases in the Arctic Refuge, pending the review, to determine whether the leases should be reaffirmed, voided, or subject to additional mitigation measures.

Under the previous administration, the Bureau of Land Management established and began administering an oil and gas program in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge. After the BLM prepared the “Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program Environmental Impact Statement”  under National Environmental Policy Act, the BLM held a lease sale on Jan. 6, 2021, and subsequently issued 10-year leases on nine tracts covering more than 430,000 acres.

Immediately after his inauguration, President Biden issued Executive Order 13990, directing the Interior Department to review oil and gas activity in the Arctic Refuge.

After conducting the required review, the Department identified defects in the underlying Record of Decision supporting the leases, including the lack of analysis of a reasonable range of alternatives in the EIS conducted under NEPA.

Environment

UN: Greenhouse Gas Levels Hit a New Record, Cuts Fall Short

GENEVA (AP) — Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record high last year and increased at a faster rate than... Read More

GENEVA (AP) — Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record high last year and increased at a faster rate than the annual average for the last decade despite a temporary reduction during pandemic lockdowns, the World Meteorological Organization said in a report published Monday. The news... Read More

October 21, 2021
by Anthropocene
In a First, Study Explores How Airborne Microplastics Affect the Climate

This article is by Prachi Patel and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. Plastics are not just smothering our lands and oceans, they are... Read More

This article is by Prachi Patel and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. Plastics are not just smothering our lands and oceans, they are also in the air we breathe. Microscopic pieces of plastic get swept up from the Earth’s surface into the atmosphere and spiral around the globe, raining down on... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
EPA Accelerates Efforts to Clean Up PFAS Pollution

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a new roadmap to accelerate efforts to protect Americans from per- and polyfluoroalkyl... Read More

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a new roadmap to accelerate efforts to protect Americans from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of toxic chemicals found in food packaging and other common commercial products that can cause severe health problems. "We are exploring ways for... Read More

Study: Fossil Fuel Plans Would Far Overshoot Climate Goals

LONDON (AP) — The world needs to cut by more than half its production of coal, oil and gas in... Read More

LONDON (AP) — The world needs to cut by more than half its production of coal, oil and gas in the coming decade to maintain a chance of keeping global warming from reaching dangerous levels, according to a U.N.-backed study released Wednesday. The report published by... Read More

October 18, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
2021 California Oil Spill Becomes Call to Action for Environmentalists

Scott Breneman told a congressional subcommittee Monday about how his fishing business was upended by the Orange County oil spill... Read More

Scott Breneman told a congressional subcommittee Monday about how his fishing business was upended by the Orange County oil spill discovered off California’s coast on October 1. After a day of fishing 90 miles off the coast, “We were coming in the harbor and I detected... Read More

October 14, 2021
by Anthropocene
Combining 3 Existing Technologies Makes Emissions-Free Plastics Possible. . . and Affordable

This article is by Prachi Patel and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. The world was already drowning in plastic when the Covid-19... Read More

This article is by Prachi Patel and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. The world was already drowning in plastic when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The use of protective equipment and surge in takeout and home delivery more than doubled the world’s plastic waste in 2020 over the previous... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version