WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is moving toward oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A notice being published Friday in the Federal Register starts a 60-day review to sell oil and gas leases in the remote region.
Opening the refuge to oil and gas drilling is a longtime Republican priority that most Democrats fiercely oppose. The 19.6-million acre refuge in northeastern Alaska is one of the most pristine areas in the United States and home to polar bears, caribou and migratory birds.
President Bill Clinton vetoed a GOP plan to allow drilling in the refuge in 1995, and Democrats defeated a similar GOP plan a decade later.
Congress authorized drilling in the refuge in a tax-cut law approved in December and signed by President Donald Trump.
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