The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Gabby Brown,

Biden Administration Initiates Review of Trump's Illegal Arctic Drilling Program

“What is needed most is an act of Congress to permanently protect this special place."


Today, the Department of the Interior released a notice of intent kicking off a new environmental review of the Trump administration's leasing program for oil drilling in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The notice opens a 60-day comment period on the scope for a draft supplemental environmental impact statement. Interior intends to publish that new supplemental analysis in 8 to 10 months.

In June, the Biden administration put all activities under the leasing plan on hold, recognizing the legal deficiencies in Trump's rushed approval and the need for a reevaluation of the impacts of drilling. The coastal plain is the biological heart of the Arctic Refuge, home to lands and wildlife vital for the subsistence way of life of Indigenous communities that have thrived in the area for thousands of years. Drilling in this place would destroy one of the world's last intact ecosystems, threaten the human rights of these communities, and exacerbate the climate crisis.

In response, Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative Mike Scott released the following statement:

"We are glad to see the Biden administration recognize the serious flaws in Trump's rushed and illegal approval of drilling in the Arctic Refuge, but what is needed most is an act of Congress to permanently protect this special place from destructive drilling. We urge members of Congress to act immediately to reverse the pro-drilling provision in the Tax Act, cancel the leases issued by the Trump administration, and shut down this dangerous drilling program once and for all."

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone's right to a healthy world.

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