Appeals filed in lawsuits targeting Alaska oil lease sales

    Anchorage, Alaska (AP) - Environmental groups have appealed the dismissal of two lawsuits challenging federal lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

    Four groups sued in February, claiming lease sales in 2016 and 2017 were illegal because the Interior Department failed to consider their effects on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

    The lawsuit said extraction and burning of the reserve's fossil fuel would harm Arctic wildlife in the reserve.

    U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason dismissed the lawsuit in December on procedural grounds, ruling that the claims should have been brought up earlier at a planning stage.

    Gleason in December also dismissed the second lawsuit, which claimed that the Bureau of Land Management should have updated its environmental reviews before the 2017 lease sale.

    Five environment groups have appealed that decision.

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