Biden presses pause on Arctic Refuge lease sales

We’ve been following step-by-step the Trump Administration’s last-minute attempts to sell off the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) for drilling before Donald Trump’s term ended. 

Well, we finally have some good news. As one his first acts as President, Joe Biden issued an executive order putting a temporary pause on oil and gas activity in the Arctic Refuge.

President Biden cites Trump’s attempts at rushing through the lease sale as a reason to press pause by underlining the “Legal deficiencies underlying the program, including the inadequacy of the environmental review required by the National Environmental Policy Act.”

This is an encouraging step, but this action is just a pause. The Arctic Refuge isn’t yet permanently protected. Will you make a contribution to help SEEC members who are fighting pass legislation that would enshrine ANWR’s protection in law?

While Joe Biden can delay the drilling with executive action, it’s very possible we will need legislation to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge. Not only did Donald Trump already sell the leasing rights to bidders, but the law passed in the GOP tax bill called for two lease sales. We will likely need another act of Congress to undo this requirement. SEEC Member Jared Huffman has written the bill that would do that, and we passed it in the House last Congress.

With Democratic Control of the House and the Senate, we can pass a law protecting ANWR, but since Joe Biden’s executive order, prominent Republicans have attacked the move and started fighting back — we need to mobilize quickly!