US President Joe Biden’s administration announced Tuesday it was halting petroleum development activity in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, reversing a move by former president Donald Trump to allow drilling.
The Interior Department said it was notifying firms of the freeze, pending a comprehensive environmental review that will determine whether leases should be “reaffirmed, voided or subject to additional mitigation measures,” the agency said in a statement.
The announcement deals a blow to the long-contested quest of oil companies to drill in the sensitive territory. The push for development picked up momentum after Trump announced the leasing plan last November shortly after losing reelection to Biden.
At a lease sale in January, US officials auctioned off 11 oil tracts. Major oil companies sat out the bidding, and nine of the leases went…
Source: Guardian Newspaper