Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Judge Allows Trump Auction of Arctic Refuge Drilling Rights

  • Environmentalists warned of damage to Alaska wilderness
  • Companies that obtain oil leases still need permits to drill

The Trump administration’s sale of oil drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will go forward Wednesday, after a federal judge rejected a request by environmentalists to block the auction.

The decision is a victory for the administration, which has been racing to issue oil leases in the refuge’s coastal plain before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Biden has vowed to permanently protect the refuge, but it would be difficult, if not impossible, for his administration to cancel formally issued oil leases.