Washington, D.C. — A new report from the Center for American Progress outlines the Biden administration’s opportunity to strengthen conservation protections in Alaska’s Western Arctic and avoid another controversial Willow Project.
While the Biden administration remains one of the most ambitious conservation administrations the United States has ever seen, it must navigate the complex and risky future of the Western Arctic, an expansive landscape largely untouched by industrialization.
The administration has proposed regulations that would increase protection from new oil and gas leasing for some of the most special parts of the landscape, known as the Reserve. But there is an opportunity to go further. The administration must prioritize strong protections for vulnerable Arctic terrain that keeps the country on track to meet climate and conservation goals—and regain public trust and approval in the process.
The report urges the administration to:
- Strengthen the draft rule to better protect the region.
- Bolster special area protections, designations, and amendments.
- Conduct a climate impact analysis for the region.
- Engage in consultation and pursue co-stewardship with Indigenous communities.
Read the report: “Biden’s Opportunity To Protect the Western Arctic in the Wake of the Willow Project” by Sam Zeno and Jenny Rowland-Shea
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