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Timeline

Bristol Bay's history

Federal protection for Alaska's Bristol Bay has ebbed and flowed over the years, usually in sync with the party in the White House. 

1986: U.S. opens Bristol Bay to oil and gas exploration and development during President Reagan’s tenure.

1989: After the devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill, Congress adds Bristol Bay to a virtually nationwide moratorium on new offshore oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf.

1995: U.S. agrees to buy back $95 million in oil leases to protect Bristol Bay during President Clinton’s tenure.

1998: President Clinton withdraws the area from leasing until June 30,  2012.

2003: Congress removes the area from the moratorium on oil and gas development in the Outer Continental Shelf during President George W. Bush’s tenure.

2007: President George W. Bush shortens the time Bristol Bay will be protected to 2007, and the U.S. says it will hold a lease sale as early as 2011.

2010: President Obama extends Bristol Bay’s protection until 2017.

2014: President Obama extends Bristol Bay’s protection indefinitely.

Source: Pew Charitable Trusts

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