By Maurice Carter, Sustainable Newton President
On June 1, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order temporarily suspending oil and gas drilling leases for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. The controversial leasing program was finalized in August 2020 during President Donald Trump's final year in office.
President Biden's order cited "legal deficiencies" with the current program and "inadequacy" of the previous review process. As a result, the US Department of the Interior is initiating a "comprehensive environmental analysis to review the potential impacts of the Program and to address legal deficiencies in the current leasing program’s environmental review." That review will include public comments and testimony, starting with six sessions this week.
On September 14, at the invitation of Environment America and representing Sustainable Newton, I delivered virtual testimony before the Federal Bureau of Land Management Alaska Field Office. You can read the text of my verbal testimony here. You can also view the presentation from the bureau and listen to all of yesterday's testimony in the Facebook Live video below. (My testimony begins at the 28:04 mark.)