The Trump administration on Wednesday said its sale of oil and gas drilling leases in an Arctic wildlife refuge received 16 bids, 11 of which were from an Alaska state agency.
The sale generated more than $14.4 million in high bids, Kate MacGregor, deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior, said in a live broadcast at which the bids were revealed.
Alaska political leaders for years have pushed to open the refuge’s coastal plain to exploration.
But the Indigenous Gwich’in have opposed development in the area, citing concern about the impacts on caribou on which they have relied for subsistence. Conservation groups also have fought drilling in the refuge.
More to come.