public lands

As House passes Arctic drilling ban, Interior goes the other way
Trump administration moves to open part of sensitive area to drilling, a win for Alaska Republicans

A pair of moose are seen near the Sheenjek River in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. (Alexis Bonogofsky/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The Interior Department and the House are moving in different directions on Arctic drilling.

Hours after the House voted 225-193 to block oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the agency said it was moving to open a portion of the area to drilling.

Trump administration to allow energy development in Utah former national monument
House Natural Resources chairman calls the move ‘a shameless giveaway campaign’

Sandstone formations are seen in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument outside Escalante, Utah. (George Frey/Getty Images file photo)

The Bureau of Land Management acknowledged Friday it plans to open a large portion of land in Utah — which the federal government until recently considered a national monument — to future oil, gas and mining projects.

At the urging of local and state officials as well as industry groups, President Donald Trump in 2017 shrank the size of Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to 1 million acres from the 1.9 million acres it was when President Bill Clinton established it.

In Final Act, Coburn Objects to Bundling Lands, Defense Bills

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

You could call it Sen. Tom Coburn's last stand.  

The Oklahoma Republican, who is retiring early at the end of the current Congress, is expected to force the Senate to jump through procedural hoops because of the bundling of unrelated lands bills in the National Defense Authorization Act.