Interior opens more of Alaska reserve to oil development

    Photo credit to Shahid Abdullah.

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — More than 18 million acres of a petroleum reserve in Alaska will be opened to oil and gas drilling under a plan released Thursday by federal officials, who touted it as being key to President Donald Trump’s goal of increasing energy production.

    The Department of Interior released the environmental review for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, which covers an area the size of Indiana.

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 23-million-acre site on the western North Slope contains about 8.7 billion barrels of oil.

    Environmentalists decry opening up the reserve, worried about what drilling could do to polar bears and a large caribou herd.

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