Group launches campaign to keep Arctic in oil lease plan

20 groups are launching a media campaign to keep Arctic leases in the federal lease plan. Image from Arctic Energy Center.
20 groups are launching a media campaign to keep Arctic leases in the federal lease plan. Image from Arctic Energy Center.
Alaska and national business and labor groups launched a media campaign Monday to keep Arctic areas in the next five-year federal offshore leasing plan.

Twenty groups organized as the Arctic Coalition are urging the Obama administration to retain a Beaufort Sea lease sale in 2020 and a Chukchi Sea lease sale in 2022.

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A decision is expected before the end of the year.

Arctic drilling faces strong opposition by environmental groups. They say industrial activity will harm wildlife in a region already hit hard by climate change and that petroleum companies have not demonstrated they can clean up a spill in ice-choked waters.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell canceled Arctic lease sales scheduled for 2016 and 2017. She cited market conditions and low industry interest.

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