Alaska Files Lawsuit Against New NPR-A Oil and Gas Leasing Regulations

The state of Alaska announced on Wednesday that it has filed a lawsuit challenging new federal regulations imposed on oil and gas leasing in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). The regulations, introduced by the Biden administration in April, aim to limit oil and gas drilling and mining activities in Alaska. Specifically, these regulations block development on 40% of NPR-A to safeguard wildlife habitats and the lifestyles of indigenous communities. However, the new rules do not impact existing oil and gas operations.

Alaska Files Lawsuit Against New NPR-A Oil and Gas Leasing Regulations
"The new rules were passed without proper input from affected parties, exceeded their congressional authorization, and were rushed into place as an end-run on congressional oversight," Alaska's state government said in a statement.

The NPR-A is a vast 23-million-acre area on Alaska's North Slope and represents the largest tract of undisturbed public land in the United States. Alaska's Attorney General Treg Taylor emphasized, "This lawsuit seeks to prevent overreach by federal agencies that disregard Alaska's rights."

Alaska asserts that it had sought to participate in the rulemaking process, submitting thoughtful comments and requesting additional time to prepare these comments. The state claims that the rules were hastily enacted to preempt potential changes in congressional oversight.

In a related development earlier this week, Alaska also sued the federal government to recover revenues lost after the Biden administration canceled oil and gas drilling leases in the 19.6-million-acre federal Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

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