The Gwich’in Steering Committee and 12 other groups filed a motion in U.S. District Court requesting the preliminary injunction. Separately, about a half-dozen conservation groups represented by Earthjustice filed a similar motion asking the court to freeze oil leasing and seismic activity in the coastal plain.
Not long after Trump took office, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke famously proclaimed “the only path for energy dominance is a path through the great state of Alaska.” Two and a half years into the administration, lawyers have proven to be significant impediments to that path.
A judge has ruled in favor of environmental groups in their effort to block the Trump administration’s push to re-open large portions of Arctic waters to oil drilling.
The Antiquities Act, which is used to designate national monuments, is “as relevant in Alaska as anywhere else and maybe even more because of climate change,” according to Erik Grafe with Earthjustice.
An oceanographer on the study told investigators she had “never worked on an SEIS with such a short timeline in her 26-year career.” A fish biologist “stated that she believed the timeline was ‘so crushed’ that the quality of the SEIS was significantly compromised.”
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking more information from Shell about their 2014 Chukchi Exploration Plan.