Court strikes down Alaska offshore drilling

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the Bush administration did not properly study the environmental impact of expanding oil and gas drilling off the Alaska coast and canceled a program to find new reserves.

The ruling came on a lawsuit brought by three environmental groups that want to protect the ecosystem and the Native Village of Point Hope, a tribe that lives off the wildlife on the Chukchi Sea coast. The seas are home to wildlife including polar bears, whales, seals, walruses and seabirds.

A three-judge panel in Washington found that the Bush-era Interior Department failed to consider the effect on the environment and marine life before it began the process in August 2005 to expand an oil and gas leasing program in the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi seas…


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