A lease sale for offshore drilling in Alaska’s waters got a frosty reception this winter.
On Dec. 30, 2022, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management held a lease sale for rights to drill for fossil fuels in Alaska’s Cook Inlet — and paltry industry interest became clear when only a single bidder showed up. Cook Inlet is home to an isolated and endangered population of beluga whales, along with northern sea otters and various types of salmon, all of which would be threatened by oil drilling and potential oil spills.
Commenting on the sale, Alaska Environment State Director Dyani Chapman said, “For the sake of our beluga whales, northern sea otters, salmon and more, we urge companies to recognize that drilling in Cook Inlet should be left in the past.”
The single meager bid is consistent with a pattern of evaporating industry interest in drilling Cook Inlet. We will continue to work to protect crucial places like Cook Inlet, and the wildlife that rely on them, from destructive oil extraction.