Biden is Going to Say No to a Mining Company’s Plan to Build a Road Through the Alaskan Desert

Biden is Going to Say No to a Mining Company's Plan to Build a Road Through the Alaskan Desert

Two people familiar with the process told The Hill that the Biden administration will not give government approval to a metallurgical mining company’s plan to build an industrial road through parts of northwest Alaska.

A source who did not want to be named said that the Interior Department could make a public statement of “no action” as soon as Wednesday.

The Ambler Access Project would cover more than 200 miles and include publicly owned land, so it needs to be approved by the Interior Department.

Ambler Metals would be the only ones who could use the road to get to the site of the big copper deposits.

The Trump administration gave the project the go-ahead in late 2020, but soon after taking office, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland asked for a review of the clearance process.

Two Republican senators from the state, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and its Democratic representative in Congress, Rep. Mary Peltola, support it. But local tribe leaders are strongly against it. They say it would hurt the wildlife and fisheries that Native Alaskans depend on.

Along with 42 other tribal groups, the Tanana Chiefs Conference issued a fact sheet against the project. It said, “The Ambler Road will pierce the heart of the hunting and fishing lands that our people have relied on for thousands of years.” „The road by itself would damage 125 miles and 200,000 acres of public lands that the State manages for the people of the state.”

The Hill was told by an Ambler representative that the company had not yet gotten direct confirmation of a denial. But the spokesperson was against any move that would stop the building.

“If this is true, this decision ignores the support of local communities for this project while eliminating jobs for Alaskans and important funds for a region where young people are leaving because they can’t find work,” the spokesperson said.

Polls show that many of the younger people who helped President Biden win in 2020 aren’t sure they want to vote again in 2024. A lot of younger voters say that Biden’s handling of the ongoing war in Gaza is a big deal. However, those voters are also much more likely to say that climate change and the environment are very important to them.

Many voters who cared about the environment were very upset when Biden approved the huge Willow oil drilling project in Alaska. Haaland, who had been against the project while she was serving New Mexico in Congress, stayed very quiet when the approval was made public.

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