Following the Biden administration’s announcement in September that they had canceled all
remaining oil and gas leases on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the
administration is now accepting public comments on a draft “Supplemental Environmental
Impact Statement (SEIS)” for the Arctic Refuge leasing program. That means they’re reviewing
the leasing program created by the Trump administration and updating the rules for leasing in
the Arctic Refuge so that future lease sales abide by laws that provide protections for our
nation’s land, air, and waters.
Here is the public hearing schedule for the Arctic Refuge SEIS comment period:
October 6, 2023, at 9am AKDT (1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT)
RSVP Link: https://empsi.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jFP4q5VzTSCeEXQWS5VkLQ
October 11, 2023, at 5pm AKDT (9:00pm ET / 6:00pm PT)
RSVP Link: https://empsi.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Kw32GJoBTKaGBxD-dkBXJQ
October 17, 2023, at 1pm AKDT (5:00pm ET / 2:00pm PT)
RSVP Link: https://empsi.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6M0EdmkDRyupskUjOgVDhg
You can also register for the hearings here. When you register, make sure to indicate that you would like to provide comments.
The existence of the Arctic Refuge leasing program is required by a bill, the Tax Act, that was passed by
Congress and signed by President Trump in 2017. The law requires that two lease sales be
held. One was held in 2021 and the second must be held by the end of 2024 unless Congress
acts. Since we do not expect Congress to repeal the law, we must ensure that the new
leasing program has as little impact on the wildlife and nearby communities as possible.
These public hearings are an important way for impacted local communities and the American
public to weigh in on the potential impacts of oil and gas development in the Arctic Refuge
and encourage the administration to adopt the strongest protections possible before the
second lease sale.