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Joe Biden Administration Suspends Oil and Gas Leases in The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife refuge in Alaska

The Biden administration has been moving ahead with its strategy to stop the oil and gas production at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Department of the Interior has now announced the suspension of leases to oil and gas companies from the previous government merely weeks prior to Donald Trump’s leaving the office.

This judgment was taken by President Joe Biden to put a temporary ban on all oil and gas activity in a refuge on the same day of its inauguration. According to a statement, oil and gas leases will be stopped, as the Department of the Interior performs a fresh environmental study. The leases might be canceled or subject to further limitations following that evaluation.

Faced with heat, large oil and gas enterprises chose not to bid on the rent from the indigenous and environmental campaigners. The property sold was thus inexpensive, a total of 14 million dollars or 25 dollars per acre. Seven of the nine auctioned tracts were obtained from the state’s Alaska Investment Development and Export Authority. According to FOIA records received by Politico, the Justice Department then accelerated its antitrust assessment of leases.

But Biden faces the pressure of organizations that hunt him for further protection against oil and gas infrastructure in other parts of Alaska. Biden is in support of ConocoPhillips’ intention to pump additional fuel from the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, just west of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It also put out a regulation allowing oil and gas corporations to harass Beaufort and Western Arctic polar bears and walruses, as long as they are not killed.

Other than Alaska, campaigners call Biden out since he has not intervened in two major pipeline fighting. The Dakota Access Pipeline was permitted to continue running during an environmental assessment last month by the federal court. And, though Biden stopped the Keystone XL development, the first major pipeline abandonment and replacement project in the USA has not yet been moved to stop the development of Enbridge’s 3 pipelines. Opponents allege that this week thousands of people are preparing for protests against Line 3.

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