Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Land Management’s release of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Trump administration’s new management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, which would open up roughly 6.8 million additional acres of public lands for oil and gas leasing:
“Whatever else is happening in our country, the Trump administration makes time to hand over public land to the oil and gas industry, and now they’re in a mad rush to give away the Arctic before the American people potentially throw them out of office. They barreled through an inadequate comment period without in-person public hearings, ignored the Native villages right in the line of fire, then proposed a final plan even worse than the options in their earlier draft. We’re already seeing massive wildfires and hundred-degree days in the Arctic, so any sane government would protect more of this fragile landscape rather than putting another seven million acres at risk.”
In 2013, the Obama administration issued a balanced Integrated Activity Plan (IAP) for the Reserve that made 11.8 million acres available for oil and gas leasing—roughly 52 percent of the overall area—while conserving the rest for wildlife habitat and subsistence hunting. The Trump administration issued a draft EIS for a new IAP in November 2019 analyzing four alternatives that would open up to 18.3 million acres for leasing (roughly 81 percent of the Reserve). The newly released Final EIS proposes to open 18.6 million acres to leasing.
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