Source: Barrel Blog | Bob Williams, Director of Content | June 26, 2017
President Trump has uncorked yet another controversy over energy vs the environment and it promises to be a heavyweight battle.
The White House budget proposal includes a revenue line of almost $2 billion from selling oil and gas leases in the richly oil-prospective northeastern coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.
Until the climate change debate came along, leasing and drilling in the ANWR (pronounced an-war) Coastal Plain was arguably the most ferociously contested item on the oil and gas industry’s wish list at the national level.
First, a little background: In 1960, less than one year after Alaska became a state, Congress created the Arctic National Wildlife Range.
Twenty years later, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) expanded the Arctic Range to 18 million acres, renamed it the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, designated 8 million acres as National Wilderness, designated three rivers as National Wild Rivers, and called for wildlife studies and an oil and gas assessment of 1.5 million acres of the ANWR Coastal Plain (the 1002 area).
There is not enough space here to track the tortuous history of legal and regulatory battles and failed legislation that has marked efforts to either develop oil and gas in the ANWR Coastal Plain or to lock it up against development permanently.
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