Fifteen AGs Filed Lawsuit to Protect Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from Oil and Gas Drilling

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led a coalition of 15 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit challenging the Interior Department’s decision to begin leasing parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska for oil and gas drilling. The leasing plan is focused on the Arctic Refuge’s sensitive and ecologically vital Coastal Plain, a “1.56 million-acre national treasure” that the attorneys general emphasized is “unparalleled in its biological significance for hundreds of species, including caribou, threatened polar bears, and millions of birds that migrate to and from six continents and through all 50 states.” In their complaint, the attorneys general detailed extensive flaws in the administration’s decision and underlying NEPA analysis, including fundamental incompatibilities with the purposes of the Arctic Refuge, and the failure to adequately analyze the plan’s expected contributions to climate change and its potentially devastating impacts on more than 150 species of migratory birds.