Washington (AP) - The Biden administration is suspending oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as it reviews the environmental impacts of drilling in the remote region.
That's according to two people who have been briefed on the administration’s plan.
The refuge has been the focus of a political and environmental fight for more than three decades.
The Interior Department order is set to be announced later Monday.
It follows a temporary moratorium on oil and gas lease activities imposed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office.
Biden’s Jan. 20 executive order suggested a new environmental review was needed.
In response to the news, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy said he opposes the move, calling it an "assault on Alaska's economy." He says he will use every means necessary to undo the action, which he calls an "egregious federal overreach" and says is contrary to federal law.
A joint statement from the governor, US Representative Don Young, and US Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan rebuked the actions of the administration.