Source: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

U.S. Would Expedite Permit Reviews for Drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Refuge

  • Trump administration has plan to expedite: Interior advisor
  • Congressional tax overhaul would open up ANWR exploration

The Trump administration has a plan in place to speed up permit reviews for drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if Congress approves exploration there, an advisor to the U.S. Interior Department said Thursday.

“We do have a plan for expediting that," Vincent DeVito, the energy counselor to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, said at an S&P Global Platts conference in New York. For the U.S., he said, “the pathway toward energy dominance runs through Alaska."

He declined to predict a timeline for the process, but said the department is getting “a regular stream" of inquiries from industry about the potential for exploring in the area.

The tax overhaul moving through Congress would open a portion of the refuge for oil and natural-gas drilling, handing Republicans and the industry a victory after 40 years of vying with environmental opponents. The administration is dedicated to using public lands “responsibly,” he said.

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