Energy: BLM releases Alaska North Slope drilling plan

Summit County Citizens Voice

Some critical wildlife areas protected

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Another big slice of the Arctic will be opened for energy development, as the U.S. Department of Interior this week announced a plan that will open up 11.8 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to drilling and open the door for construction of a pipeline from offshore oil development in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

The area opened for drilling could produce up to 549 million barrels of oil and 8.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The environmental study released this week tries to balance energy extraction with protection natural resources and subsistence resources for Alaska natives.

At nearly 23 million acres, the Reserve is the largest contiguous piece of public land in the United States, harboring a wide array of wildlife including two caribou herds, threatened polar bears, wolves, wolverines, the largest density of…

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