The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a national wildlife refuge in a remote region of Alaska, has captured the national spotlight for decades due to conflicting viewpoints on how to manage the refuge's resources. ANWR is home to a large population of diverse species and Alaska Native communities. However, it may also contain large quantities of oil. Debates over ANWR resource management often provide only two options: preserve the Coastal Plain as wilderness or allow energy development. In 2017, a congressional budget resolution opened a portion of ANWR (the Coastal Plain) to oil and gas leasing for the first time. Concerned with the environmental impacts of this resolution, the Biden Administration is currently evaluating oil and gas development in ANWR. This Note outlines how managers historically have balanced resources in ANWR and evaluates options for balancing resources in the future. It also explores practical ways the Biden Administration and Congress could cancel oil and gas leases, and ways to reimagine this debate to expand beyond the binary options of wilderness or oil.
Megan Mason Dister,
Wilderness v. Oil: Resource Balancing in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge,
39 Alaska Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol39/iss2/6