01:05 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Obama Team Releases New Study Defending Oil Drilling in Cook Inlet, Alaska

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    US President Barack Obama's administration has released a new environmental study defending proposals for limited oil drilling in Cook Inlet, Alaska, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The BOEM presented a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that analyzes "the possible environmental impacts of oil and gas development in the federal submerged lands of Cook Inlet, off Alaska’s southcentral coast."

    The EIS was prepared for the Department of the Interior’s 2012-2017 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which proposes one oil and gas lease sale in Cook Inlet in June 2017, the bureau noted.

    BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said the study identified mitigations to protect sensitive species that could be impacted by the lease sales.

    The area identified for the potential lease sale avoids nearly all of the areas designated as critical habitat for the beluga whale and the northern sea otter; avoids the critical habitat for the Steller sea lion; and excludes much of the subsistence-use area for three Native villages, the statement explained.

    The terms of the proposed lease sale could be cancelled or revised by the new administration as President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to lift all environmental bans and limits on drilling for oil and natural gas.


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