BIDEN FREEZES OIL, GAS EXPLORATION IN ALASKAN WILDLIFE PRESERVE
US President Joe Biden has suspended all oil and gas exploration activities in an Alaskan wildlife reserve, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
The suspension is in effect pending a comprehensive analysis based on environmental laws, the US Department of the Interior announced Tuesday.
Legal deficiencies were found in the awarding of drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the state's northeast, the department said.
The move puts a halt to a controversial decision by former President Donald Trump to award drilling rights for 10 years just two weeks before he left office in January. Biden, a Democrat, ordered a review on his first day in the White House.
The area is suspected to have significant raw material deposits and their exploitation has been a disputed topic for decades.
Trump's administration cleared the way for drilling in 2017 with an amendment to the law and faced considerable resistance from environmental organizations. The nature reserve covers an area of around 78,000 square kilometers.