Daily US Times: Joe Biden’s administration will suspend oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending an environmental review.
The decision reverses former President Donald Trump’s decision to sell oil leases in the refuge to expand fossil fuel and mineral development.
The giant Alaskan wilderness is home to many important species, including caribou, wolves and polar bears.
Arctic tribal leaders have welcomed the decision.
In January, then-president Trump pushed ahead with the sale for the rights to drill for oil on around 5% of the refuge, just days before his time in the office ended.
Covering some 19 million acres the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is often described as America’s last great wilderness.
The region a critically important location for many species, including polar bears.
During his campaign, Joe Biden, a Democrat, pledged to protect the habitat.
In a statement, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said : “President Biden believes America’s national treasures are cultural and economic cornerstones of our country,”
She said: “He is grateful for the prompt action by the Department of the Interior to suspend all leasing pending a review of decisions made in the last administration’s final days that could have changed the character of this special place forever.”
The first sale of parts of the refuge received little interest from the gas and oil industry and generated high bids of around $14 million.
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