“Trump Plan to Sell Arctic Oil Leases Will Face Challenges”

“If lease sales happen in the final days of the Trump administration, they may face disputes in court or could be reversed by the Biden administration.”

“Even if in its waning days the Trump administration succeeds in selling oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, the leases may never be issued, legal and other experts said Tuesday.

The leases would face strong and likely insurmountable headwinds from two directions: the incoming Biden administration and the courts, they said.

Under new leadership, several federal agencies could reject the leases, which even if purchased at an auction a few days before Inauguration Day would be subject to review, a process that usually takes several months.

Mr. Biden vowed during the campaign to oppose oil and gas development in the refuge, a vast expanse of virtually untouched land in northeast Alaska that is home to polar bears, caribou and other wildlife.”

Henry Fountain and John Schwartz report for the New York Times November 17, 2020.