Trump administration pushes ahead with sale of oil and gas leases in Alaska wildlife refuge

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.



a large mountain in the background: The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


© U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Getty Images
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

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Trump admin to hold Arctic refuge oil drilling auction before Biden takes office

(Reuters) – The Trump administration on Thursday said it would issue a sale notice for oil leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) next week, putting it on track to hold a drilling auction in the ecologically sensitive area shortly before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The move is the latest step toward pulling off the first ever sale of oil and gas leases in a pristine area of the Arctic before Biden, a Democrat who opposes energy development there, becomes president on Jan. 20.

Opening ANWR to drilling is an important pillar of outgoing Republican President Donald Trump’s agenda to expand domestic fossil fuel production. But green groups and Democrats have cast it as a giveaway to Big Oil that would harm the Arctic’s unique ecosystem and native people.

The sale notice will be published on Monday, setting up a sale to be held on Jan. 6 via

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Trump administration slates Arctic National Wildlife Refuge leasing sale for early January

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it will move forward with oil-and-gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, scheduling a leasing sale to be conducted two weeks before the presidential inauguration.

The Bureau of Land Management said it would post a Notice for Sale for the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Lease Program in the Alaskan refuge, citing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which requires at least two sales of at least 400,000 acres each by the end of 2021.

A notice of the leasing sale is slated to be published Monday, and the sale itself is scheduled to be conducted Jan. 6 via video livestream.

BLM Alaska state director Chad Padgett said the agency has “taken a significant step in announcing the first sale in advance of the December 2021 deadline set by law.”

“Oil and gas from the Coastal Plain is an important resource

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Trump Sets Up Sale Of Oil Drilling Rights In Arctic Wildlife Refuge : NPR

Caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. The refuge has long been eyed for oil exploration.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/AP


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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/AP

Caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. The refuge has long been eyed for oil exploration.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/AP

In a last-minute push, the Trump administration announced Thursday that it will auction off drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in just over a month, setting up a final showdown with opponents before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The announcement of a lease sale comes sooner than some expected: The Bureau of Land Management did not wait for the comment and nominations period to officially end before scheduling a sale date.

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To Trump, land conservation law was a political pawn to help with election

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Alex Brandon / AP

In this July 16, 2019, file photo, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt listens during a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

When President Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act in August, he touted himself as the White House’s greatest champion of the environment since Teddy Roosevelt.

It was a gag-worthy comparison, given Trump’s assaults on environmental regulations across the board, and now his administration has further revealed what a lie it was.

It did so by — wait for it — gutting the same Great American Outdoors Act that Trump had signed.

On Nov. 9, while no one was looking, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed an order giving governors and local jurisdictions the power to veto federal land acquisitions made under the measure. More specifically, the order applied to acreage purchased under the decades-old Land and Water Conservation

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Trump may be coming to terms with loss he won’t acknowledge

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump still won’t bring himself to concede the election he decisively lost to President-elect Joe Biden. But he’s now acknowledging he will leave the White House if Biden’s win is affirmed by the Electoral College, which is firmly on track to do just that in a few weeks.

“Certainly I will,“ he said Thursday when asked if he will vacate the premises after electors make Biden’s win formal. “But you know that.”

Trump, who took questions from reporters for the first time since the election, unleashed another round of complaints about the vote and theatrical warnings that “a lot of things” would happen before the Electoral College meets Dec. 14 that could possibly change results. But while he’s stirring uncertainty about how he will behave in the weeks ahead, there is no real suspense about the outcome.

All states must certify their results before the Electoral

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Judge rules against Trump ploy to force elderly into nursing homes

Team Trump lost a court battle that could have pushed our nation’s low-income elderly, disabled and blind out of their own homes and into deathtrap nursing homes during the coronavirus  pandemic.

A California federal judge called the Trump rule that bars states from withholding part of the paychecks of some home healthcare workers for things like health insurance and voluntary union dues a “legal error.”

Judge Vince Chhabria wrote the Trump rule appears “contrary to the overall purpose” of the Medicaid law. He noted that improving working conditions for home health workers, who have median hourly pay of $10.49, improves the quality of care the workers provide for Medicaid patients.

“It is unclear how barring the payroll practices would serve the purposes of the Medicaid program,” wrote Chhabria, an Obama appointee. He threw out that provision of the law and sent it back to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare

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Trump grants TikTok a 7-day extension to deal with its forced sale saga

TikTok is getting more time to finalize a deal to sell the short-form video app. On Wednesday, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, received an extra week to sell its US operations. The short-video app also faced a potential US ban, but federal judges have blocked that from happening.



a close up of a sign: The Trump administration has put a target on TikTok. Angela Lang/CNET


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The Trump administration has put a target on TikTok. Angela Lang/CNET

The extension follows President Donald Trump’s August executive order requiring China-based ByteDance to sell the US operations by Nov. 12. TikTok asked for an extension from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews foreign acquisitions for national security risks. With the latest shift, the committee has pushed back the deadline twice. The company now has until Dec. 4.



a close up of a sign: TikTok, popular among teens, lets you add music and effects to short videos. 


© Angela Lang/CNET

TikTok, popular among teens, lets you add music and effects to short videos. 


ByteDance has struck a preliminary deal with software company Oracle

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Sale of SF’s 555 California, part-owned by Trump, put on hold

Efforts to sell the famed 555 California St. in San Francisco have been put on hold amid an uncertain market, a move that could at least temporarily hurt the finances of the cash-strapped Trump family, which owns 30% of the property, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Vornado Realty Trust, which owns 70% of 555 California St., the former Bank of America headquarters, has decided to suspend efforts to unload both the tower and 1290 Avenue of the Americas building in Manhattan, the Journal reported. The sales of the two buildings were expected to

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“Let’s Buy Trump Off So He Shuts the F–k Up”: Will Rupert Murdoch Spring for a Post-Presidential Fox Gig?

Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago has been a tradition of Donald Trump’s presidency. During his first three years in office, Trump spent the long weekend in Palm Beach playing golf, relaxing, and mingling with club guests. In 2018, Trump even brought in a singer to perform “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. But in the wake of losing the presidential election to Joe Biden, Trump won’t be hosting a feast at the resort this year. Melania Trump’s spokesperson Stephanie Grisham tweeted last week that the first family plans to remain in the White House for the holiday. 

The cancellation has fueled speculation that Trump is staying in Washington to continue his failed attempt to reverse the results of the election. But according to a Republican close to the White House, Trump’s decision not to travel to Mar-a-Lago is actually an indication that, privately at least, he’s preparing

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