HomeLatest NewsManchin, Others Blast Biden's 'Assault on Our Economy' with Oil Drilling Ban

Manchin, Others Blast Biden’s ‘Assault on Our Economy’ with Oil Drilling Ban

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Republicans and Democrats both criticized President Biden for the actions taken by his administration on Wednesday to significantly reduce fossil fuel drilling within an oil-rich area of Alaska.

The Department of the Interior proposed regulations as part of the action to “ensure maximum security” for 13,000,000 acres of land in the North Slope Borough of Alaska, which is the National Petroleum Reserve. Biden also ordered that an additional 2.8 million of acres be removed from the Beaufort Sea, off the northern coast of Alaska.

Deb Haaland, the Interior Secretary, also authorized the cancellation of seven leases granted to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority in 2021. AIDEA is a state agency. These leases, which were acquired in January 2021, cover 365 775 acres of non-wilderness area within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Haaland stated that “climate change is warming the Arctic twice as fast as the rest of the world. We must do all we can to protect this fragile ecosystem.”

Biden said in a post on social media that he “takes action to meet this moment for future generations.”

The president’s move was criticized by opponents who said it would undermine U.S. security of energy, reward foreign energy producers inadvertently, and violate the intent of previous legislation.

Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said, “I cannot explain to the American public why we would willingly increase our dependence on foreign oil, eliminate well-paying American jobs, and raise the cost of electric bills and gasoline prices across the nation.” This is another example of the administration giving in to radical leftists without regard for clear directions from Congress or American security.

He added: “Let’s not be confused — this is yet another attempt to use an executive order to circumvent a statute to accomplish something that this administration doesn’t have the votes in Congress to achieve.” “Canceling leases that are valid, removing land from future sales, and trying to reduce production in Alaska, while taking steps to let Iran and Venezuela produce more oil with less environmental regulation, makes no sense, and is embarrassing,” he said.

In order to limit future industrial development and oil and gas leasing in the NPR under the actions of the administration, these areas, which are known for their abundant wildlife, would be restricted in Teshekpuk Lake and Utukok Uplands as well as Colville River, Kasegaluk Lagoon, and Peard Bay. The rule would prohibit any new leasing on 10.6 million acres.

In addition, the regulations mean that all of the Arctic Ocean owned and controlled by the federal government will be blocked from fossil fuel production for the foreseeable. The region hasn’t held an offshore lease auction since 2007. The administration has already said that future auctions will not be held until at least 2028.

In a press release, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said that “President Biden’s war on American Energy continues.” “He ignores the law and makes us more dependent on oil from abroad.” “This is not only a bad energy policy but also bad foreign policy.” “Today’s decision benefits our enemies and hurts American Families.”

“Once more, President Biden has stifled domestic energy production to pursue his radical green agenda. “His cancellation of leases, and disregard for the laws, pushes us further away from energy autonomy,” said Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho).

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said that the actions were just the latest in Biden’s war on American energy to pursue his green hallucination. He called it an insult to the law as well as to Native American communities who would benefit from the development of the area.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act required the DOI to administer and establish an oil and Gas program in ANWR. Years after the bill passed, the Bureau of Land Management released the final leasing program and held the lease sale of hundreds of thousands of acres of fossil-fuel leases in ANWR.

The DOI granted nine leases the day before President Biden was inaugurated, of which seven were awarded to AIDEA, along with Kaktovik Inupiat Corp. and Arctic Slope Regional Corp., which sued the Biden Administration after the DOI halted leasing in ANWR on June 20, 2021.

The Biden Administration has chosen to further isolate Alaska, refusing to consult the Alaska Natives living on the North Slope, even though America and its allies are in desperate need of Alaska’s natural resources.

She added, “It is not difficult to predict what’s going to happen when they let the worst actors in the world enrich themselves while punishing Alaska.” “Less jobs in the United States, more imports from California, and higher prices to everyone.” These decisions are reckless, illegal, and defy common sense. They are also the latest sign of President Biden’s incoherent policy on energy.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said that the actions were a part of “the Biden administration’s unrelenting attack on our economy and ability to access our lands lawfully.” He said that the actions would have a chilling impact on energy investment and discourage it in Alaska.

“I am deeply frustrated by the reversal of these leases in ANWR,” said Democratic Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola. “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.”

AIDEA estimates that the non-wilderness area of the ANWR, where its leases lie, contains 7.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil as well as 7 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. According to the agency, oil and gas production is responsible for a significant portion of Alaska’s rural and indigenous communities on the North Slope.

Alaska’s oil and gas taxes provide funding to the state and its communities for services such as government, education, housing, health, and emergency services.

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