The US government on Monday authorized oil drilling in a large wilderness area in Alaska. Environmental clubs are vehemently against drilling in the area, which is home to polar bears, wolves and birds, among others.
This is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge nature park, in northeastern Alaska. Especially in the coastal region of the area, oil is said to be underground.
On Monday evening, US President Donald Trump’s administration cleared the last hurdles to enable drilling, after steps were taken earlier in 2017 to allow such oil exploration, with the first permits being granted by the end of this year.
Presidential elections are held in America in November. Should Trump lose these elections, it will be difficult for the new president to reverse the decision on the drilling.
It is not known which oil companies are interested in drilling in the park. They can count on a lot of resistance from environmental organizations, among others.
Various large banks have also indicated in the past that they do not wish to finance such activities. The question also arises of how profitable the oil can be extracted, given the persistently low oil prices.