President Joe Biden's Interior Department has officially made its plans public:
It plans to cancel the oil and gas leases issued by Donald Trump.
Biden and his team are taking that land back from America's economy and setting it aside for polar bears and caribou.
Nearly 20 MILLION acres worth of space is a lot of room for the polar bears to stretch their legs, I will say.
The argument then becomes which should we value more? Polar bears and caribou getting their exercise or the well-being of millions of struggling American families?
Biden picked the moose.
"As the climate crisis warms the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, we have a responsibility to protect this treasured region for all ages," Biden claimed.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), the group to which Trump issued the leases, plans to appeal the decision, saying:
This latest action by the Department of the Interior shows arbitrary disregard for Federal law, based on campaign trail rhetoric. Campaign promises are not enough to justify this agency action.
Many Republicans seemed to agree with the group.
Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska, said that "there is palpable anger and frustration among Alaskans about the Biden administration’s unrelenting assault on our economy and our ability to lawfully access our lands."
Cynthia Lummis, a Republican senator from Wyoming, said, "this causes our nation to continue relying on dirty oil from foreign adversaries, it will also keep prices high at the pump which the American people cannot afford."
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, released her own statement:
Now the Biden Administration, at a time when America and our allies need Alaska’s resources more than ever, has decided to go their own way by further locking Alaska down while refusing to consult with the Alaska Natives who actually live on the North Slope. It’s bad enough to tear up legal contracts and renege on federal commitments. But it’s even more unconscionable that the Biden administration is penalizing Alaska right as it allows Iran to produce more of its oil and solicits the same from Venezuela.
It’s not hard to predict what will happen as they allow the world’s worst actors to enrich themselves, while punishing Alaska. Fewer jobs at home, more imports for California, and higher prices for everyone. These decisions are illegal, reckless, defy all common sense, and are the latest signs of an incoherent energy policy from President Biden."
Representative Mary Peltola, a Republican from Alaska agreed, saying:
I am deeply frustrated by the reversal of these leases in ANWR. This administration showed that it is capable of listening to Alaskans with the approval of the Willow Project, and it is some of those same Inupiat North Slope communities who are the ones that are most impacted by this decision. I will continue to advocate for them and for Alaska’s ability to explore and develop our natural resources, from the critical minerals we need for our clean energy transition to the domestic oil and gas we need to get us there.
We can only get to that transition by listening to the people on the ground. Finally, we can’t keep erasing our progress with every administration. I will continue to advocate for permitting reform that includes predictable timelines from the federal government, which must be a reliable partner in leasing and developing our resources.
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