Biden to block oil and gas drilling on 13 million acres in Alaska as part of Earth Day celebration

Just before Earth Day, President Biden will continue his pandering to climate activists in an election year by banning oil and gas drilling on 13 million acres in Alaska.

“The Department of Interior (DOI) is expected to finalize regulations on Friday, just days ahead of Earth Day. These regulations would effectively lock up more than 13 million acres of public land within the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A), sources familiar with the agency’s timing told Fox News Digital. The regulations represent one of the Biden administration’s most aggressive actions pushed under its climate and conservation agenda,” Fox News reported.

“According to the DOI, the regulations as proposed would create an outright prohibition on any new leasing across 10.6 million acres of the area, equivalent to about 40% of the entire NPR-A. They would additionally require DOI subagency the Bureau of Land Management to review whether to expand protected areas or create new protected areas in the NPR-A at least every five years,” the media outlet added.

Conservatives believe that Biden’s blocking of drilling in the reserve will further imperil America’s energy resources. Many see this move as nothing more than a political bone thrown at radical climate activists in an attempt to garner votes. He has similarly banned natural gas exports. It is a win for climate and environmental advocates and a major loss for America at a time when we can least afford it.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

“With climate change warming the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, we must do everything within our control to meet the highest standards of care to protect this fragile ecosystem,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland commented concerning the ban. “President Biden is delivering on the most ambitious climate and conservation agenda in history.”

“These natural wonders demand our protection,” Biden commented in a statement and said he was “proud” of his administration’s move, adding, “As the climate crisis imperils communities across the country, more must be done.”

Under the administration’s actions curbing development in the NPR-A, future oil and gas leasing and industrial development would be strictly limited in the vast Teshekpuk Lake, Utukok Uplands, Colville River, Kasegaluk Lagoon and Peard Bay – ‘special areas’ known for their rich wildlife populations on Alaska’s North Slope. DOI said closing the land off from resource development would help protect various wildlife species, including caribou,” Fox News noted.

The regulations were put forth by the Biden administration in September. There have been over 10,000 public comment letters both opposing and supporting the move. Fox News claims that Department of Interior officials have met with a number of stakeholders over the proposed ban. The Biden White House is literally colluding with the climate radicals according to Office of Management and Budget filings.

Even more telling is that the state of Alaska, its bipartisan congressional delegation, local leaders, Indigenous groups, energy industry associations, and Republican lawmakers all oppose the regulations that will be implemented. The only ones who want it put in place are Democrats and environmental groups.

“Joe Biden is doing everything he can to attack American energy,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), who is the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, declared at a press conference late Thursday. “They’re going to prohibit oil production in, of all places, the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. That’s like saying no more picnics in Yellowstone National Park.”

The press conference was organized by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK). He told Fox Business that locking up NPR-A lands would result in outsourcing oil and gas production to “regimes that hate us” such as Iran, Russia, and Venezuela.

“In February, Sullivan, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, sent a letter to the White House, urging it to consider the perspectives of Native Alaskans, many of whom support oil and gas development in the NPR-A,” Fox News wrote.

Alaska’s senators are extremely blunt about how damaging and dangerous Biden’s pandering has become.

“It’s more than a one-two punch to Alaska, because when you take off access to our resources, when you say you cannot drill, you cannot produce, you cannot explore, you cannot move it — this is the energy insecurity that we’re talking about,” Murkowski remarked according to The Detroit News.

“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,” Sullivan stated at the press conference. “What a dangerous world this president has created.”

“While we obviously recognize the impacts of climate change on the Alaskan environment, the policy objectives of this administration do not negate congressional direction for the management of the Petroleum Reserve, nor do those objectives nullify the obligation to hear and consider the perspectives of the North Slope people that will be negatively impacted by this proposed rule,” a number of Native Alaskan leaders wrote via a letter sent to the DOI.

The reserve encompasses 23 million acres of public land located in northern Alaska. The U.S. Navy first established the Petroleum Reserve in 1923. It was transferred to the DOI in 1976 under the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act.

“The administration also issued a document indicating that it would not approve a proposed industrial road through northwestern Alaskan wilderness toward deposits of copper and zinc — disrupting Ambler Metals’ effort to mine there,” The Hill further reported. “The administration cited its finding that the road would significantly restrict activities for more than 30 Alaska Native communities.”


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