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The Trump administration began leasing at the last minute for Arctic drilling



It is unclear whether the Bureau of Land Management, which organizes the tender and lease, will be able to complete the process in the two remaining months of the Trump administration. But it could allow the Trump administration to leave its mark on the process. In previous years, under the Trump administration, the leasing process in Alaska took between four and nine months.

On Monday, the agency asked drillers to “describe the tract (s) you nominate for lease or provide comments” in the ANWR coastal plain, located on the northern slope of the state.

After a 30-day application period, employees will schedule a date for the sale for rent, the Land Management Bureau announced on Monday.

The coastal plain is both a sensitive ecological area and “highly promising for oil and gas resources,”

; according to the Land Management Bureau.

Earthjustice, a conservation group that is one of several groups and states suing the Trump administration for asylum, called it a “midnight effort to sell irreplaceable land in the asylum before a new day dawns.” The group called the coastal plain “the biological heart of the refuge, an indispensable landscape of global ecological importance.”

The coastal plain is nearly 1.6 million acres out of 19.3 million acres of ANWR. In August, the administration announced details of its program to rent drilling sites there.
A few months earlier, the administration developed a plan that would allow more wells to be rented from the National Oil Reserve, a separate 23 million-acre plot also on Alaska’s northern slope.

The Land Management Bureau stated that under the 2017 federal tax law, it is necessary to conclude two contracts in the ANWR coastal plain by 2024. The Land Management Bureau stated that the first lease agreement will take place next year, and Home Secretary David Bernhard said the sale could take place before the end of 2020 in August.


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