Juneau, Alaska (AP) - The Trump administration is taking steps toward a lease sale within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an area President-elect Joe Biden has said he would move to protect from oil and gas drilling.
The state director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for Alaska says hearing from industry on which tracts to make available is key to conducting what he called a successful lease sale.
The agency plans to make a formal call for nominations on Tuesday.
Alaska political leaders celebrated in 2017 the passage of legislation allowing for drilling within the refuge’s coastal plain.
The Gwich’in people and conservation groups have opposed development within the refuge.