The Center for Biological Diversity and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit in federal court today seeking to force the release of more than 5,000 pages of e-mail and other documents related to the plan for oil and gas lease sales in the Chukchi Sea. The groups filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in September 2007 with the Minerals Management Service (MMS) to gain access to the scientific documents that went into the environmental review for the proposed lease sale. The conservation organizations are concerned the lease sales could adversely affect polar bears. We spoke with Eric Jorgensen, an attorney for Earthjustice. He says the Chukchi Sea lease sale encompasses nearly 30 million acres and is proposed for February. Calls to the Minerals Management Service for comment were not returned.
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage