Fifteen AGs Urged BLM Not to Pursue Oil and Gas Leasing in Arctic Refuge Following Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson led a coalition of 15 attorneys general in comments to the Bureau of Land Management on its draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program. In their comments, the AGs examined each of the alternative courses of action covered by the environmental review and urged the bureau to adopt the “no-action” alternative. The AGs argued that the environmental review “clearly demonstrates that the only alternative consistent with the critical need and our efforts to combat climate change is the no-action alternative.” Pursuing oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Refuge to any extent would have “unacceptable environmental impacts” including a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions and endangerment of migratory birds, according to the comments. The coalition also identified the second least-harmful course of action in the event that the Bureau is unwilling to adopt the AGs’ “no action” recommendation.