JUNEAU, Alaska (AP and KINY) — A U.S. judge has refused to halt oil and gas lease sales in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that were pushed by the Trump administration in its final days.
U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason made the decision Tuesday. It involves a region valued by conservationists for its beauty and wildlife and seen as sacred to some Indigenous people but viewed by others as a way to boost oil production and create jobs.
The decision came after conservationists and Indigenous groups argued the lease sale scheduled for Wednesday was based on inadequate environmental reviews or outdated information.
Governor Mike Dunleavy offered reaction to the ruling during his virtual town hall meeting Tuesday evening. "It's good news for Alaska. It's good news for the country in my opinion because again we are a resource development state. If we're able to develop ANWR and if there's oil there in any amount that we that we think is there, it's going to put more oil in the pipeline. It's going to put people to work. It's going to be opportunities for Alaskans. So, good news so far. We'll see where it goes, but at this point, I think the judge made the right call.