Leaked Interior memo proposes end to O&G exploration ban in ANWR

An internal Interior Department memo has proposed lifting restrictions on exploratory seismic studies in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a possible first step toward opening the pristine wilderness area to oil and gas drilling.

The document proposes ending a restriction that had limited exploratory drilling to the period from Oct. 1, 1984, to May 31, 1986. It also directs the agency to provide an environmental assessment and a proposed rule allowing for new exploration plans. The document, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, was first reported by The Washington Post.

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