U.S. vows first oil lease sale in Alaska Arctic refuge this year

by Yereth Rosen, Reuters

The U.S. Interior Department is determined to sell oil leases for the first time this year in the ecologically sensitive but presumably petroleum-rich coastal plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a Trump administration official said on Thursday.

“That lease sale will happen in 2019,” Joe Balash, the assistant interior secretary for lands and minerals management, told an oil industry conference in Anchorage.

The decision marks a likely turning point in a decades-long battle between environmental groups and fossil energy companies over the Beaufort Sea coast of the wildlife refuge, home to caribou, polar bear and other Arctic wildlife east of Alaska’s North Slope oil fields.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alaska-oil-refuge/u-s-vows-first-oil-lease-sale-in-alaska-arctic-refuge-this-year-idUSKCN1T1011?for-guid=e7359d9a-2fcd-e611-88f6-90b11c3bc1f2&utm_source=usatoday-Climate%20Point&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=narrative&utm_term=article_body

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