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Interior Delays Order Opening Alaska Land to Mining, Oil Leasing

April 15, 2021, 2:01 PM

The Interior Department on Thursday delayed former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s January order that allowed mining and other mineral leasing on more than 9 million acres of federal land in Alaska.

Interior never published Bernhardt’s order—one of his last in the Trump administration—in the Federal Register, preventing it from taking effect. The agency said it will delay the effective date of the order until April 2023, according to a Federal Register public inspection notice published Thursday.

The Bureau of Land Management found “defects” in Bernhardt’s order, including insufficient environmental analysis required by the National Environmental Policy Act, reliance on outdated...

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