Twelve AGs Filed Comments Objecting to Proposed Expansion of Leasing in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 12 attorneys general in submitting comments sharply criticizing a plan proposed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that could open 6.6 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska—an area the size of Massachusetts—to new oil and gas leasing. BLM’s draft Environmental Impact Statement and Integrated Activity Plan call for leasing in wildlife habitat that the bureau designated off-limits in its 2013 Integrated Activity Plan, based on extensive research and input from the public. Citing BLM’s own estimate, the attorneys general highlighted that the resulting oil and gas development could lead to downstream emissions increases equivalent to up to one billion tons of carbon pollution. The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is “the largest single unit of public land in the United States” and features some of the most valuable fish and wildlife habitat in the Arctic Coastal Plain. This includes the biologically rich Teshekpuk Lake region and parts of the Utukok River Uplands, which are home to polar bears, migratory birds, wolves, grizzly bears, caribou and numerous other species