Alaska’s Gas and Oil Drilling Are Limited by the Biden Government


The Interior Department put out a new rule on Friday that will stop people from drilling for oil on 13 million acres of land in Alaska.

The Management and Protection of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska rule will affect 40% of Alaska’s reserve. The Bureau of Land Management will protect 10.6 million acres completely, while the rest will only have limited protection. The Interior Department says this area is a “globally significant intact habitat for wildlife, including grizzly and polar bears, caribou, and hundreds of thousands of migratory birds.”

President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday that he was happy with the rule and was “proud” of the conservation effort.

“From safeguarding sacred lands near the Grand Canyon to protecting Alaskan treasures, my Administration has conserved more than 41 million acres of lands and waters,” Biden said. “But because the climate crisis puts communities all over the country at risk, more needs to be done.” To meet the urgent needs of the climate crisis, protect America’s lands and seas, and live up to our duty to the next generation of Americans, my administration will continue to take big steps.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement, “There is no doubt that these decisions will help biological, cultural, historic, and subsistence resources, safeguarding the way of life for the Indigenous people who have called this special place home since the beginning of time.” The decisions were made using the best available science and Indigenous knowledge that has been used for thousands of years.

The Bureau of Land Management also made its own decision about a 211-mile road in the north central part of Alaska in order to set up the Ambler Mining District. The department says that this road could “irreversibly impact resources, including those supporting important subsistence uses, in ways that cannot be adequately mitigated.” This would lead to the mining of copper, zinc, cobalt, and other minerals.

“We are very upset that the Bureau of Land Management decided to stop the building of the Ambler Access Project for political reasons,” Ambler Metals Managing Director Kaleb Froehlich said in a statement. “By doing this, the Department of the Interior is denying Alaska Native communities thousands of well-paying jobs and millions of dollars in much-needed tax money and economic investment. They are also stopping the US from developing a domestic supply of minerals that are important for national security and clean energy technology.”

Amber Metals said that First Chief of the Allakaket Tribal Council PJ Simon and the area’s assemblyman, Miles Cleveland, were in favor of the plan.

Six of the 100 biggest oil fields in the United States are on Alaska’s North Slope. Last year, the state made 426,000 barrels of oil per day, which put it in sixth place in the country.

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