Lonely Planet Writer

Obama moves to protect Arctic habitat in Alaska

Obama moves to protect the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
Obama moves to protect the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Image by Madhav Pai / CC BY 2.0

In an announcement on Sunday, the Obama administration said that it will ask Congress to pass a bill that would protect millions of acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The bill would designate twelve million of the 19-million-acre refuge as ‘Wilderness’, the strongest federal designation, which would ban activities like oil and mineral exploration and the construction of roads. President Jimmy Carter first created the refuge, which is believed to hold large oil and natural gas reserves, in 1980, and Alaska lawmakers have since tried to open the area to oil drilling. The new push to protect the ANWR is unlikely to pass, as it faces strong Republican opposition. Read more: nytimes.com