Plan for ANWR exploration moves forward

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) The plan being published Friday starts a 60-day environmental review that includes public meetings in Anchorage, Fairbanks and other sites, including three in northern Alaska.

    The Trump Administration announced plans to move toward oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  A 60 day review to sell oil and gas leases in the remote area, will be published Friday in the Federal Register.

    The area is home to polar bears, caribou, migratory birds and other species.  It has long been a contentious issue with Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama stopping the project in decades past.

    President Trump said he would support the project after he learned republicans had worked 40 years to get the project.

    Environmental groups denounced the plan and said it was "shameful" that it would be published on Earth Day — and the eighth anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the nation's worst environmental disaster.

    The administration plan calls for at least two major lease sales over the next decade in at least 400,000 acres each in the refuge's coastal plain. Surface development would be limited to 2,000 acres.

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