Interior Department Offering Space for Oil and Gas Leases

Associated Press

The Interior Department is offering 1.8 million acres for oil and gas leases in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve while promising to protect critical migratory bird and caribou habitat.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the department through the Bureau of Land Management will offer 190 tracts with bids to be opened Aug. 11 in Anchorage.

The petroleum reserve covers 23 million acres on Alaska’s North Slope.

The BLM withdrew for consideration lands in a buffer zone around Teshekpuk Lake because of its importance to migratory birds.

Eric Myers of Audubon Alaska says the agency took a reasonable approach with its measures to protect birds and calving caribou.

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