(RightWing.org) – The northern reaches of Alaska contain vast swaths of barren and frozen tundra that remain relatively untouched by man. They also cover enormous fields of crude oil and natural gas that extend out into the North Sea. Because of this, and the fact that Alaska is the habitat of polar bears and caribou, it has been a political football since the energy crisis in the 1970s.
President Joe Biden’s administration made an announcement on September 6, saying that they are “canceling all remaining oil and gas leases issued under the previous administration [that of President Donald Trump].”
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is canceling all remaining oil and gas leases issued under the previous administration in the Arctic Refuge.
The Administration also took new action to protect more than 13 million acres in the Western Arctic. pic.twitter.com/YNStbtLKtZ
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 7, 2023
But didn’t cancel projects in the state that Biden agreed to.
The cancelation announcement has received mixed reviews from politicians and special interest groups alike, generally split along ideological lines of Liberal/Conservative. However, when one considers the Willow Project approved by the Biden administration, those lines begin to blur.
The Willow Project covers just under 500 acres at the eastern end of the National Petroleum Reserve — Alaska (NPR-A). The Bureau of Land Management estimates that it can produce roughly 576 million barrels of oil over the term of the lease. It’s also the kind of double standard that has brought criticism upon Biden from both ends of the political spectrum.
Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), posting on X (formerly Twitter), called the move the “unlawful cancellation of leases,” and pointed out the loss of an economic boon to the indigenous people of the region, and said that the president had shown that “the idea of ‘equity'” is nothing but lip service. The Leftist publication, The Progressive Magazine accused Biden of breaking a campaign promise in regards to fossil fuel production and claims that he “has approved more oil and gas permits on public lands than the Trump administration did” in a similar timeframe.
This war on Alaska is devastating for not only Alaska but also the energy security of the nation. This unlawful cancellation of leases brings us to 55 executive orders and actions specifically targeting Alaska since President Biden assumed office. (1/2)https://t.co/FAEd6i6T9m
— Sen. Dan Sullivan (@SenDanSullivan) September 6, 2023
The double-dealing of the administration isn’t solely being put forth by Biden. It can be found coming from the Department of the Interior and the agency’s secretary, Deb Haaland, as well. While she is putting up a united front with the president and defending the move in the press, previously, when she was a member of the House of Representatives she was of the opinion that it would “be great to stop all gas and oil leasing on federal and public land.”
While Biden and other Democrats continue their efforts to force Americans into all-electric cars, doing away with the combustion engine on the one hand, on the other, environmentalists and some indigenous groups have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop Willow.
They claim that the government didn’t account for the impact on climate change, nor did they consider the problems it will create for people to hunt for the food that keeps them alive. In fact, some estimates say that over the 30-year lease, carbon dioxide emissions would equate to an additional 2 million gasoline-powered cars on the highways and byways.
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