Lawsuit Aims to Block Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

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The unspoiled 19 million acres of tundra, rivers and mountains of the Arctic Refuge shelter migratory birds from all 50 states and six continents each summer. To the Gwich’in people of northeast Alaska, this is sacred ground. Anchorage, AK — Environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging the Trump administration’s decision to allow oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Bureau of Land Management’s plan for drilling in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge would cause irreparable damage to one the world’s most important wild places and takes America in exactly the wrong direction on combating climate change, the suit says. The lawsuit, filed by the National Audubon Society, Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Friends of the Earth , represented by the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice and NRDC , is one of several legal actions launched in response to the oil and gas drilling plan. The Gwich’in Steering Committee, a voice for indigenous traditional hunting communities, also filed suit to challenge the oil and gas development plan. Gwich’in people revere the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain as a sacred place because it serves as calving […]

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