On May 11th, 2022, the Department of the Interior announced that they would not move forward with Lease Sale 258 in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.The Bureau of Ocean Management received 106,567 comments on the draft environmental impact statement of opening more leases in Cook Inlet. Just under ten thousand of those comments came from Alaska Environment and Environment America members.
Obviously, we’re thrilled. Leasing more of this sensitive habitat for oil and gas drilling would put Cook Inlet’s amazing wildlife and coastal communities at risk. Expanding drilling anywhere in the inlet poses an unconscionable risk to the belugas; oil spills don't heed arbitrary borders, and the areas where belugas congregate may change as range patterns shift with rising sea temperatures. Canceling the lease sale was the only way to ensure that the inlet’s belugas and other amazing wildlife will have a chance to survive and thrive for decades to come.