EXPLAINER: The suspension of Arctic refuge drilling leases

    Anchorage, Alaska (AP) - Decades-long political and legal battles over drilling in America’s largest wildlife refuge took another turn when the Biden administration suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    The move was a blow to oil and gas proponents, who came the closest they ever have to starting drilling after the refuge was expanded 40 years ago to include the oil-rich coastal plain.

    The Department of Interior suspension came Tuesday after Biden issued a temporary moratorium on his first day in office.

    The refuge was nearly opened to drilling in 1995 until President Clinton vetoed a bill that Congress sent him.

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