U.S. senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan introduced a bill Thursday to open up a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas drilling.
For decades Alaska politicians have pushed to allow development in the refuge’s coastal plain, but with Donald Trump taking the White House this month and a Republican-led Congress, the latest bill may gain more traction.
In a joint news release, the senators say the Alaska Oil and Gas Production Act would allow development on 2,000 surface acres within the refuge’s coastal plain, also known as the 10-02 Area.
On the House side, Alaska Rep. Don Young introduced a bill to open a portion of the refuge for development on Tuesday.
Environmental groups oppose the efforts, citing potential impacts to wildlife and subsistence hunting.