The Biden administration has canceled the seven remaining oil and gas leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, overturning sales that were conducted during the final days of the Trump administration.
The Willow project, initiated by ConocoPhillips Alaska, has the potential to produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day on the petroleum-rich North Slope. I Photo: ConocoPhillips Alaska
This decision was reported by Becky Bohrer and Matthew Daly for the Associated Press (AP).
The Department of the Interior's decision to cancel these leases follows earlier disappointments for environmental groups when the government approved the Willow oil project in the petroleum reserve earlier this year.
The Willow project, initiated by ConocoPhillips Alaska, has the potential to produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day on the petroleum-rich North Slope.
Protections have been proposed for more than 20,000 square miles (51,800 sq kms) of land in the reserve in the western Arctic. While some critics have praised Wednesday's announcement, they also believe that more can be done.
There is ongoing litigation related to the approval of the Willow project. In a statement, President Biden expressed, "Alaska is home to many of America's most breathtaking natural wonders and culturally significant areas. As the climate crisis warms the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, we have a responsibility to protect this treasured region for all ages."