Did Biden have to approve the Willow oil project?
ConocoPhillips has existing lease rights. But the Biden administration had tools to curtail those rights to limit harms.
Although the Biden administration has approved the Willow oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope—the largest proposed oil drilling on U.S. public land in several decades—the legal questions are far from settled. Much of the media coverage so far has focused on the political dynamics driving the decision (as noted with some alarm here and …
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Public Lands Watch: Izembek National Wildlife Refuge
Interior Department proposes to authorize road through wildlife refuge in Alaska
Tom Schumann authored this blog post. News outlets report that the Interior Department, reversing a decision made under President Obama, has agreed to a land exchange with an Alaska Native village that would allow construction of a road across a national wildlife refuge that provides important habitat for migratory birds, bears, caribou, and other species. …
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Public Lands Watch: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Senate budget resolution being considered this week could open refuge to oil drilling
One of the longest lasting fights over the federal public lands has been whether to open up portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas development. The Refuge is one of the most important and largest protected areas in North America – it is unusual in that it protects the …
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Public Lands Watch: HR 218
Bill would authorize road through wilderness in Alaska national wildlife refuge
On July 20th the House passed H.R. 218 (248-179). The bill was then sent to the Senate where it was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The King Cove Road Land Exchange Act would transfer 206 acres of federal land—including 131 acres in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge—to the state of Alaska …
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Public Lands Watch: House Joint Resolution 69
House passes resolution to nullify regulation restricting hunting on Alaska National Wildlife Refuges
Additional update: The President signed SJR 69. Update: The Senate just passed S.J.R. 69. The House voted last week to pass House Joint Resolution 69. The resolution disapproves of the Fish & Wildlife Service rule, “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska,” which was finalized on …
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2014 Senate Races and the Environment: Alaska and Colorado
Two anti-environmental Republicans versus a moderate and an environmental advocate.
Alaska and Colorado may both think of themselves as having a link to the frontier, but they’re also very different in terms of demographics and dependence on the oil industry. The Senate races in the two states are also similar in some ways but not others, perhaps reflecting the more diverse economy of Colorado. In …
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Kivalina and the Courts: Justice for America’s First Climate Refugees?
It’s hard not to sympathize with the Native Alaskan inhabitants of the Village of Kivalina. The 400 residents of Kivalina, a thin peninsula of land in Alaska jutting into the Chuckchi Sea north of the Arctic Circle, have the dubious distinction of being among the first climate refugees in the U.S. Their town is literally …
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Alaska aborts anti-ESA ad campaign
In February, Alaska lawmakers decided to launch a $1.5 million public relations campaign against the Endangered Species Act, and specifically against the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species. Later, they toned it down a bit, planning to use the money to hold a conference on polar bear listing and ask PR firms …
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More on reengineering – what about the oceans?
Regarding Dan’s post on reengineering the planet, one more shortcoming of the commonly discussed geoengineering solutions (even assuming they work exactly as designed and have none of the unintended consequences Dan, and others, fear) is that they are far from complete, leaving out entirely any remedy for ocean acidification, the “other” greenhouse gas problem. More info on …
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Coeur Alaska–A Shifting Legal Position by the Obama Administration?
As the U.S. Supreme Court Term winds down, only one environmental case on the Court’s docket remains undecided: Coeur Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, No. 07-984. That case, which involves the relationship between the Clean Water Act’s water pollution control (NPDES) and its wetlands dredge-and-fill programs, arises in the context of a proposed gold …
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