Two leases have been drawn along the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, potentially allowing gas and oil companies to tap the land for natural resources.
The western boundary of the preserve has been redrawn; the result of years of work by the state. This area covers about 20,000 acres, according to a recent Breaking Energy article.
"I’m pleased that we are now able to award these leases to the 2011 bidders and clarify the acreage that is available for oil and gas exploration in this highly-prospective region," said Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash in a recently released statement.
Environmental groups hoping to limit large industry in the ANWR region are sure to protest.
Yet leasing this land will bring a considerable income to the state of Alaska, which was been struggling with large budget deficits in recent years. Oil and gas revenues have been in steady decline and these agreements, along with the natural resources they tap, could serve to help increase Alaskan revenue.
The topic of the reserve and its uses remains highly controversial.
What are your thoughts on the leasing of the ANWR region? Share your thoughts in the comments below!