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Groups sue to block oil production in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Conservation groups are suing to block an oil-drilling project in federal Arctic waters.

Five groups represented by environmental law firm Earthjustice on Monday asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review an offshore oil production plan approved for the Liberty project in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s north coast.

The groups say the approved plan violates federal law and that Arctic Ocean oil extraction ignores climate change.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in October approved a plan submitted by Houston-based Hilcorp for production wells on an artificial gravel island.

The island is proposed for 19 feet (5.8 meters) of water about 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) off shore.

The site is 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of Prudhoe Bay, North America’s largest oil field.


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