Arctic oil scramble in offing after GOP tax bill


As a part of the Republican tax overhaul bill, Congress voted to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and natural gas drilling, after more than four decades of contestation on the matter. Drilling is still years away at best, due to depressed oil prices, a lengthy review process, and likely legal challenges. But oil companies are already arguing over who will have rights to the reserve—while Native Alaskan communities that depend on its critical caribou habitat see impending cultural extermination. Across the Arctic Coast from the ANWR, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska was opened to exploitation by Obama in 2011, and the Trump administration has been dramtically stepping up lease sales there.

Map: USGS via House Committee on Natural Resources

See full story