The Bureau of Land Management said on Thursday that it will hold an auction in early January for drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
As part of tax legislation passed by the GOP-led Congress in 2017, the Bureau of Land Management is required to hold two lease sales for drilling rights in the refuge’s coastal plain within seven years, with the first one having to take place by December 2021. The auction is set for Jan. 6, just a few weeks before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Biden has said he will take steps to ensure the 19.64-million-acre refuge, the pristine home to migrating caribou and polar bears, is permanently protected.
NPR reports that the Trump administration has accelerated the sale, with the Bureau of Land Management not waiting the required 30 days for oil companies to