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Alaska sues Interior for lost ANWR lease revenue

By Niina H. Farah | 07/08/2024 06:24 AM EDT

The federal government should “face the logical and legal consequences of its policy actions,” said Alaska’s top attorney.

An airplane flies over caribou  on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

An airplane flies over caribou on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP

Alaska is suing the Interior Department for millions of dollars in compensation for canceling oil and gas leases in the coastal plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The state is not suing over the cancellation itself. Instead, Alaska wants Interior’s Bureau of Land Management to “face the logical and legal consequences of its policy actions,” state Attorney General Treg Taylor (R) wrote filed July 2 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

“The United States made a policy decision to impede, postpone, and thwart the development of minerals underlying the Coastal Plain despite Congress’s direction and in a total about-face from the Federal Government’s previous policy,” Taylor said.

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BLM announced last September that it would — over the objection of state officials — cancel seven leases that had been frozen since the start of the Biden administration.

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