by | Jan 14, 2021

The Bureau of Land Management held virtual public hearings in April on the environmental impact statement for a ConocoPhillips’ plan to drill for oil in an area of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska that borders the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Indigenous groups argued that two of the three communities most affected by the project were unable to attend virtual meetings due to lack of internet access and cell reception, but the BLM declined to either pause the permitting process or extend the public comment period. Status: Public comment period closed on May 4, 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.