Oil drilling allowed in Alaska wildlife refuge, home to polar bears

Polar bear, photo: Hans-Jurgen Mager on Unsplash
Polar bear, photo: Hans-Jurgen Mager on Unsplash

Polar bears may have to share their home with oil drillers. The Trump administration on Monday approved oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That wilderness has been off-limits to drilling for decades.

The reserve is home to polar bears, grizzly bears, black bears, moose, caribou, wolves, eagles, beavers and migratory birds.

A Republican bill passed three years ago, allowed the refuge to be opened to oil and gas companies, but Native American groups, environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers have fought development.

Alaska‚Äôs governor and congressional delegation welcomed the move saying it would create jobs and boost economic growth. But environmentalists slammed the decision, saying it would harm wildlife and the ecosystem.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said oil leases could be auctioned by the end of the year and that oil production could begin in about eight years.

Source: Reuters

The Animal Reader is an animal news organization. We need your support to create news stories where animals are the focus. Big or small, it would mean a lot if you could sponsor us.

Previous articleMauritius arrests captain of Japanese tanker that caused massive oil spill
Next articleLifelong wolf lover sets up animal rehabilitation center in Russia

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here