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OPEN OR CLOSED?

Trump is opening Alaska’s wilderness to the oil business, but no one is buying

REUTERS/U.S Fish and Wildlife Service
Prime drilling habitat?
  • Michael J. Coren
By Michael J. Coren

Climate reporter

The Trump administration announced this week it would issue decades-long leases in the massive Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), potentially holding its first auctions by the end of the year.

It’s not clear anyone will take them up on the offer.

For quite some time, oil and gas companies (and their financers) have been running in the other direction. Major banks have already refused to lend to projects that would drill in the 19.6-million-acre Alaskan preserve known as the “last great wilderness.” Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo had all sworn off financing oil development in the tundra’s refuge.

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