The decision was announced by the US Department of the Interior, reporting the start of a ‘complete analysis on the environmental impact of the licenses granted last January, just before Biden took office in the White House.
The Biden administration has therefore suspended all of them licenses for drilling in the natural area protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in Northeast Alaska, issued by the Donald Trump administration, thus fulfilling the promise to protect Alaska’s fragile tundra from fossil fuel extraction.
Depending on the outcome, a note reads, the administration will decide whether the permits will be confirmed, canceled or changed to protect the environment. The department also announced a statutory audit of the previous administration’s decision to grant permits.
L’Arctic National Wildlife Refuge it is one of the largest areas of unspoiled nature in the United States, where migratory water birds, caribou and polar bears live. But it is also the area where there are an estimated 11 billion barrels of oil, recalls the New York Times, so much so that it has been at the center of a heated dispute between Democrats and Republicans for over 40 years.