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Biden Administration Rolls Back Disastrous Trump Drilling Plan for Western Arctic

Full ban on new fossil fuel leasing is still needed to protect public lands, achieve climate goals.
WASHINGTON -

The Biden administration announced yesterday that it will reverse a Trump administration policy that opened up millions of acres in the Western Arctic for oil drilling. 

Trump had approved a plan that would allow drilling in more than 80% of the area known as the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska (NPR-A), removing Obama-era protections for about half of the area. Expanded drilling in the Western Arctic would threaten critical habitat for birds and other wildlife, food security for Alaska Native communities, and the climate. 

In response, Dan Ritzman, Director of the Sierra Club's Lands Water Wildlife Campaign, released the following statement: 

“We applaud the Biden administration for walking back Trump’s disastrous assault on Alaska’s public lands. After a year of devastating extreme weather events and unprecedented high temperatures in Alaska, the last thing we need is a massive expansion of oil drilling in the Arctic. But in order to achieve the administration’s ambitious climate goals, it’s not enough to go back to the Obama-era status quo. We urge the Biden administration to build on this progress by acting immediately to phase out all new leasing for fossil fuels on our public lands."

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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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