Oil Leases Canceled in ANWR

September 9, 2023 By: Spencer Durrant

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr

The Biden administration announced on September 6 that they have canceled oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), per a press release from the Department of the Interior. A total of nine leases were sold during the Trump administration, totaling “more than 430,000 acres” in ANWR. However, President Biden issued an executive order in 2021 that prompted a review of those leases on the grounds that the leases had “multiple legal deficiencies in the underlying record supporting [them].”

The review has concluded with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland canceling seven of the leases. Two of the leases had already been canceled and refunded at the request of the lessee.

In addition to canceling the leases, the Interior Department is proposing new regulations for ANWR that would “ensure maximum protection for the more than 13 million acres of Special Areas in the reserve, while supporting subsistence activities for Alaska Native communities.”

You can read more about the proposed rules, and why the leases were canceled, here.