U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has finalized a plan to open up vast areas of the arctic Alaska territory to oil development, according to Reuters. The plan allows oil development on about 80% of the reserve.
- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management released its plan for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), a 23 million-acre of land on the western North Slope
- The NPR-A decision has been criticized by environmentalists who have already sued to overturn the plan.
- Under Obama-era rules, about half of the reserve was available for leasing, with the other half protected for environmental and indigenous reasons.
- The record signed by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on December 21, allows lease sales to proceed under relaxed standards.
- On Wednesday, the bureau will auction off drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern North Slope.
- It is unclear whether Trump’s plan will boost Alaskan oil production, which peaked more than 30 years ago at 2 million barrels per day
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