The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge won in court today! The U.S. District Court ruled today that oil and gas exploration is not allowed on the Coastal Plain. The court’s decision shuts down the most recent attempt by the State of Alaska to open the Coastal Plain to damaging oil and gas activities. The court’s decision confirms the protections for the Coastal Plain set out in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).
“Having just visited the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge, today’s victory is especially sweet,” said Victoria Clark, Executive Director of Trustees for Alaska. “Today’s decision confirms that harmful oil and gas exploration is prohibited by ANILCA, and the Secretary properly rejected the State’s repeated attempts to conduct harmful activities in this special place. The court found that any authority to conduct those activities expired decades ago.”
Trustees for Alaska celebrates this win with our clients (Gwich’in Steering Committee, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands, Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, the Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society) and our co-counsel (Bessenyey & Van Tuyn, LLC, and the Natural Resources Defense Council).