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Tue Nov 20, 2018, 10:05 AM

Trump Agency Moves to Expand Drilling in Alaskan Oil Reserve

The Trump administration is moving to expand the territory open for oil exploration in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, a process that could shift drilling rigs closer to herds of caribou and flocks of threatened birds.

The effort responds to complaints from oil companies and state officials that the Obama administration’s plan was overly restrictive, blocking drilling in promising areas while hampering the construction of pipelines across the reserve.

The Interior Department now will consider options for opening new areas to oil leasing and examine current plan boundaries designed to protect ecologically sensitive habitat in the reserve. The agency said it also would weigh changes to conditions required of oil companies doing business in the reserve ...

The oil industry already has plenty of room to drill in the region, including some 27 million acres of Arctic Alaska, said Nicole Whittington-Evans, Alaska regional director of The Wilderness Society. “This is just another example of this administration’s shortsightedness and desire to sell off America’s public lands to oil companies,” she said.


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