Saturday 20 April 2024

Biden Slammed After Taking New Action To Curb Oil Production In Alaska

 President Joe Biden rolled out new actions on Friday to curb oil production and mining in Alaska, drawing criticism from Republicans and local leaders who say the move will compromise national security and hurt the economy. 

The action, taken through the Department of Interior, blocks the granting of any new leases for oil drilling or mining on 13 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Alaska is also blocked from building a road to a copper deposit in the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. The deposit was estimated to contain about $7.5 billion worth of copper, according to The New York Times. 

“I am proud that my Administration is taking action to conserve more than 13 million acres in the Western Arctic and to honor the culture, history, and enduring wisdom of Alaska Natives who have lived on and stewarded these lands since time immemorial,” Biden said. “My Administration will continue to take ambitious action to meet the urgency of the climate crisis, protect America’s lands and waters, and fulfill our responsibility to the next generation of Americans.”

The decision drew sharp criticism from Republicans who said that the move would weaken America’s domestic energy production.

“Joe Biden is fine with our adversaries producing energy and dominating the world’s critical minerals while shutting down our own in America, as long as the far-left radicals he feels are key to his reelection are satisfied,’’ Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said. “What a dangerous world this president has created.”

Leaders of the North Slope Borough, the home to the National Petroleum Reserve, slammed Biden’s decision.

“The DOI seems to believe that they care about this land more than we do,” said North Slope Borough Mayor Josiah Patkotak. “The elected leaders of the North Slope spoke in unison in opposition to this rule and the rulemaking process. To refuse to listen to our voices is to say that you know better – better than the people who have been this land’s stewards for the past 10,000 years, and who depend on its continued health for their own survival.”


Biden first announced the plan to stop granting new leases back in September as part of his broader push to guide the United States toward a so-called “green transition.” Climate activists have still been upset with Biden, even after he canceled the Keystone XL pipeline expansion and aggressively pushed green energy because he did allow the Willow oil project in Alaska’s North Slope to go forward. 

As Biden has restricted domestic energy production, gas prices have remained high and are currently up about 20 cents per gallon in the last month, according to recent data.

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