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Vaunted Arctic Lease Sale Yields Embarrassing Results for Trump Administration

December 6, 2017


DENVER—Today, the Interior Department conducted its much-anticipated oil lease sale for lands within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. The lease sale, which was announced by Secretary Zinke as part of the administration’s push for “energy dominance,” offered all 10.3 million acres currently available within the wildlife-rich reserve.

The sale yielded bids for merely 7 tracts of the 900 offered, totalling $1.16 million. Of the 10.3 million acres offered, only 79,000 acres received bids, or 0.8 percent. The Center for Western Priorities issued the following statement from Deputy Director Greg Zimmerman:

“This lease sale is a black stain on the administration’s ‘lease everywhere’ approach, and a clear indication that there is simply no market for oil leasing in the Arctic. Secretary Zinke and his lieutenants could use an Economics 101 refresher. You cannot force drilling where no demand exists—even when the government is practically giving leases away. And, equally importantly, some places are just too special to drill.”

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For more information, visit To speak with an expert on public lands, contact Aaron Weiss at 720-279-0019 or


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