The administration suspended leases that were auctioned in the waning days of the Trump White House. But a 2017 law requires another sale. The 2017 law was a major achievement for Mr. Trump, who sought to permanently open up millions of acres of public lands to oil and gas drilling, including the Coastal Plain of the Alaskan refuge, about 1.5 million acres along the Arctic Ocean that are thought to overlie enormous oil reserves. The refuge is one of the last remaining stretches of untouched wilderness in the United States, home to migrating caribou, birds and polar bears.
By Coral Davenport and Henry Fountain. New York Times. June 2, 2021.