Drilling Arctic Natl Wildlife Reserve
Trump Okays Oil & Gas Drilling in ANWR
|Source Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Polar Bears & Caribou|
Wildlife Refuge at a Time of Climate Change
President Trump just finalized plans to allow oil and gas drilling in the Alaska Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). No drilling has occurred there in decades. The refuge is home to polar bears, porcupine caribou and other species deeply threatened by climate change, which is melting ice in the Arctic at a record pace. Climate change is worsening. Death Valley, California just recorded the world's top temperature record of 130 degrees. President Trump today indicated he will issue long term leases to oil and gas drilling companies before there is any potential change in US Presidential leadership.
Politics and the Environment
Alaska Governor Michael Dunleavy and the energy industry say this move will create jobs and boost the economy. Democrats and environmentalists say it will do destruction to the Arctic's unique ecosystem and the native Alaskans who are dependent on the region. Add to that, the massive disruption to the lives of the magnificent animal species that call it home. Those who disagree with President Trump's move to allow drilling in one of Alaska's most pristine regions say this is a big political giveaway to Big Oil on the eve of the November 3rd National Presidential election.
Interior Department Moving Forward
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt says he can hold a sale of oil and gas leases in the ANWR by the end of this year. If he does, oil and gas production could start in 8 years and last for another 50 years. Environmental groups threaten to sue. Bernhardt says the Interior Department procedures have been so air-tight, he doesn't think this can be challenged legally. This new environmental battlefront is now seething and it will likely face major legal challenges from many stakeholders.