Arctic

Biden immediately slams brakes on oil drilling in Arctic refuge

President Joe Biden imposed a “temporary moratorium” on all oil and gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge shortly after taking office on Wednesday, citing the “alleged legal deficiencies underlying the program” and the inadequacy of a required environmental review.

Arctic seals were listed as threatened in 2012. Now their sea ice habitat will be protected, too.

The Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas are home to a variety of marine mammals, including bearded seals and ringed seals. Though both species are in relative abundance, long-term projections forecast a threat to the once abundant sea ice that the seals live on. As a result, the species were listed as threatened in 2012 under the Endangered Species Act.

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