US holds first oil lease sale for Alaska's Arctic refuge

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. government has held its first-ever oil and gas lease sale for Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an event critics labeled as a bust with major oil companies staying on the sidelines and a state corporation the main bidder.

    The sale was held as scheduled Wednesday after a judge rejected requests by Indigenous and conservation groups to halt the event.

    It garnered bids on half of the tracts that were listed as available in the refuge’s coastal plain, an area considered sacred by the Indigenous Gwich’in that provides habitat for wildlife including caribou, polar bears, wolves, and birds.

     

     

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