JUNEAU, Alaska — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to hold an oil and gas lease sale for Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge next month, weeks before President-elect Joe Biden, who has opposed drilling in the region, is set to take office.
Conservation groups criticized Thursday’s announcement as rushed and based on environmental reviews that are being challenged in court as flawed.
“Today we put the oil industry on notice. Any oil companies that bid on lease sales for the coastal plain of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should brace themselves for an uphill legal battle fraught with high costs and reputational risks,” Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, said in a statement.
Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, which was