Alaska court hears challenge to Arctic refuge oil leases

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Attorneys for conservation groups have asked a U.S. judge to halt the issuance of oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ahead of a planned sale this week.

    U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason says she will aim to issue a decision by late Tuesday.

    On Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to hold the lease sale, with tracts covering most of the refuge’s coastal plain.

    The land agency has said the sale is in keeping with a 2017 law that called for lease sales. But critics say the Trump administration is trying to rush through the process in its waning days.


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