Interior Secretary Approves Alaska Arctic Drilling

Nineteen million pristine acres opened for first time.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt approved an oil leasing program for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, opening up the 19-million acre pristine wilderness to drilling for the first time, and making it difficult to unwind the decision.

His approval clears the way to auction oil leases “right around the end of the year,” the secretary said in an interview. The decision caps more than 30 years of efforts by oil companies and Alaskan leaders to drill on the refuge.

Concerns about drilling and its impact on polar bears and caribou herds in the remote region have been expressed by environmentalists. As part of its tax overhaul in 2017, Congress passed a mandate to lease oil from part of the refuge. Secretary Bernhardt said drilling can be conducted in an environmentally sound way, and that Congress has set details into law that will help the plan withstand challenges from environmentalists.

The wilderness area, often known as ANWAR, is nearly the size of South Carolina, and is situated between the Arctic Ocean to the north and Canada’s Yukon to the east.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Bernhardt and those who will review applications for oil drilling leases to act wisely and with a sense of protection for the environment.
  • About the growth of America’s energy independence and how oil extracted from the Arctic wilderness will add to it.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, New York Times


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