Arctic Wildlife Refuge Drilling Plan Advances

by | Aug 12, 2020

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced that he has approved Bureau of Land Management plans to hold the first auction for oil and gas leases in the Arctic Refuge by December 22, 2021, although it could happen “right around the end of the year,” according to an interview reported in The Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Bernhardt said the drilling can be conducted in an environmentally sound manner,” reported The Journal, “and that Congress has set details into law that will help the plan withstand challenges from environmentalists.” Drilling in the refuge is a longtime Republican goal. Status: The BLM announced its “record of decision” for Arctic Refuge lease sales on August 17, 2020.

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Amy Westervelt is the editor-in-chief of Drilled News, creator and host of the Drilled podcast, and founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. An award-winning print and audio journalist, Amy has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. She is the 2015 winner of the Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism," and a 2016 winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, the Drilled podcast won the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award.

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Emily J. Gertz is senior editor of Drilled News. A longtime environmental reporter and editor, her work has appeared in HuffPost, Reveal, Arctic Today, The Guardian, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sierra, and more.