(EFE).- US President Joe Biden has suspended oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, reversing a drilling program signed off by the Donald Trump administration.
The move was decreed by an order published Tuesday by the Department of the Interior on an issue that Democrats and Republicans have fought over for four decades and that could end up in court.
The order “directs the Department to initiate a comprehensive environmental analysis to review the potential impacts of the Program and to address legal deficiencies in the current leasing program’s environmental review,” said a Department statement.
The Trump administration auctioned off the right to drill in the refuge’s coastal plain, home to hundreds of thousands of migratory caribou and waterfowl, as well as polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea, just two weeks before Biden’s inauguration.
The new Democratic administration has issued the order to block “all activities related to the implementation of the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program,” citing “alleged legal deficiencies underlying the program, including the inadequacy of the environmental review.”
According to the order, a “comprehensive analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the oil and gas program” will now be carried out. EFE
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