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Arctic Refuge drilling plans cause concern in Canada

Cara J

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In late December, the U.S. Department of the Interior released a draft environmental impact statement, analyzing the administration’s plan to open parts of the 19 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy development. Under the plan, oil drilling would occur along the 1.5 million acre coastal plain. The refuge’s coastal plain is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including polar bears (Ursusmaritimus), numerous bird species and caribou (Rangifertarandus). This area, along with Ivvavik National Park across the border in Canada, is the calving grounds for the Porcupine caribou herd, the largest herd in the refuge apolicy, drilling, energy development, ANWR, Alaska nd one of the largest in North America. The decision to open this area for energy development has been contentious for decades. Now, the Canadian government, two territories and several First Nations are weighing in with their concerns about the United States drilling in such an ecologically and culturally important area. “Canada is concerned about the potential transboundary impacts of oil and gas exploration and development planned for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain,” says a letter from Environment Canada to the Alaska office of the Bureau of Land Management, which manages oil drilling in the refuge, according to [...]

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