Arctic Offshore Drilling Plan Dropped 05/08 07:43
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- The U.S. Interior Department said Friday it would not
pursue a Trump administration proposal that critics said would have weakened
rules for exploratory oil and gas drilling in Arctic waters.
A statement from the department said existing regulations released in 2016
remain in effect and "are critical to ensuring adequate safety and
environmental protections for this sensitive ecosystem and Alaska Native
Leah Donahey, Alaska Wilderness League legislative director, said the rules
that have been in place incorporated lessons learned from the 2010 Deepwater
Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
She said there has not been a public push by companies showing interest in
Changes to rules proposed under the Trump administration were not finalized.
According to conservation group Oceana, 37 exploratory wells have been
drilled in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas since the 1970s, with many of those
drilled on leases that have since been relinquished.