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In a stunning setback to the waning Trump Administration’s long-stated goal of energy independence, a recent auction for oil drilling leases in the Alaskan Arctic attracted no major oil companies. Whether the astonishing absence of interest was due to a lack of infrastructure or roads around the coastal plain, the decline of fossil fuel investments (and use) during the pandemic, or the perception that every inch of the Arctic would be legally fought over by indigenous tribes and environmental activists, what was supposed to be a historic day ended with crickets and question marks.
“Today’s sale reflects the brutal economic realities the oil and gas industry continues to face after the unprecedented events of 2020, coupled with ongoing regulatory uncertainty,” said Alaska Oil and Gas Association CEO Kara Moriarty in a statement.