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EGEB: Trump administration cuts size of Arctic land for oil auction

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The size of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge land to be auctioned for gas and oil exploration is slashed by 30%.
  • Xos partners with DLL to finance electric trucks so companies can more easily stop driving diesel trucks.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Arctic Refuge oil drilling pushback

On November 17, Electrek reported that Donald Trump’s administration was bulldozing through a last-minute gas and oil drilling-rights auction in Alaska’s 19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Biden vowed to block oil exploration in the largest national wildlife refuge in the US. Biden’s interior secretary nominee, Deb Haaland, who is Native American, also opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Late last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) suddenly announced that it would slash the 1.56 million acres that it originally planned to auction off by 457,000 acres, which are in the southeastern corner of the Coastal Plain. That’s about one-third of a cut.

The BLM said [via the Anchorage Daily News]:

In addition to tract nominations, BLM received and reviewed over 40,000 comments during the nomination and comment period, the vast majority of which were opposed to leasing of any tracts in the Coastal Plain.

Drilling opponents say fossil-fuel drilling will harm wildlife such as caribou and polar bears. The BLM began accepting bids today. Will any oil companies bother to bid? Former Alaska governor and senator Frank Murkowski (the father of the current Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski) doesn’t seem to think so.

The reduction of the size of the land up for auction won’t stop the four lawsuits filed that oppose the drilling entirely. Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, said [via Reuters]:

Any disturbance or disruption to the coastal plain is a direct attack on the Gwich’in way of life and the Gwich’in people.

“A federal judge in Alaska said last week that she hopes to rule by January 6, the day of the scheduled lease sale, on a restraining order that could pause the plan,” Reuters reports.

Electric truck financing

Los Angeles-based EV manufacturer Xos Trucks, who currently supplies trucks to UPS and Loomis and is teaching Dickinson Fleet Services how to service electric vehicles, is partnering with Dutch-headquartered global asset finance company DLL to provide financing for electric trucks. The financing partnership between Xos and DLL will further enable the transition from traditional diesel trucks to electric.

Dakota Semler, CEO and cofounder of Xos Trucks, says:

With increased attention on climate change and the West Coast coming off its worst year of wildfires in history, transitioning to zero-emission electric vehicles is more important now than ever.

We understand making this investment is challenging, so we want to help fleets make this transition as easy as possible.

Xos Financing will offer full-service operating leases of the company’s electric vehicles and charging equipment to fleets, helping them to reduce energy, field, and maintenance costs. The vehicles included are Xos’ flagship vehicles designed for last-mile delivery.

Financing is available from today. To learn more, visit

Photo: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by danielle.brigida/CC BY 2.0

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.