A year seems so long ago: ANWR anticipation turns to angst



It was one year ago that the Bureau of Land Management published its intent to offer the first lease sale for lands within the Coastal Plain (10-02 area) of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

That notice, kicking off the formal lease-sale process, led to immense posturing by environmental zealots and advocacy groups, including calling the Congressionally-approved sale “an act of violence”.

The hopes of so many a year ago may not have faded, but certainly, the circumstances have changed – significantly.

After holding the sale earlier this year, the Biden Presidency was then sworn in and immediately halted any new development activities in ANWR via executive order.

Then, after Alaska’s Congressional delegation all supported anti-fossil fuel, radical environmentalist Deb Haaland to be the next Interior Secretary, Deb Haaland and her team suspended the existing leases, using the bogus argument that the original permitting process wasn’t robust enough, and calling for a complete review of the environmental impact of leasing in the 10-02 area.

Setting aside the legal question about stopping progress on fully-contracted areas within the 10-02 for a minute, the entire argument that the permitting – done under what the even the eco-extremist organization NRDC has called the “Magna Carta of Environmental Law” – the NEPA process – was somehow flawed is laughable.

In response to Interior’s actions and a complete stonewalling by Haaland and her team to requests for information and consultation by leaseholders, the Alaska Industrial Development & Export Authority (AIDEA) filed suit recently against President Biden and others involved in the suspension of activity.  

Power The Future which strongly supports AIDEA’s efforts and will stay on top of this story for our readers and supporters.  While so much has happened in a year related to ANWR and the eco-left’s histrionics to keep it from being safely and responsibly developed, the fact is that the Coastal Plain still holds immense opportunity.  We’ll keep fighting for ANWR, its tens of thousands of potential jobs, billions of barrels of oil and the continued economic and energy security of Alaska and America.

Rick Whitbeck is Alaska director for Power the Future.


  1. ANWR will never be opened as long as the US is governed by charlatans.
    In short, it’ll never open until the Russians of Chinese seize it.

  2. Small companies are needed now. Big oil will not fight for Alaska’s oil future. It will take the small oil and gas companies and state government exploration leaders with good incentives ideas like Gov. Palin had to keep fighting for Alaska land and ANWR, its tens of thousands of potential jobs, billions of barrels of oil, and the continued economic and energy security of Alaska and America.

  3. It is teeth grinding time when one is trying to absorb the utter recklessness of the Alaska congressional delegation ‘in toto’ voted to confirm the radical environmentalist Deb Haaland to be Interior Secretary. The federal Interior Secretary holds huge sway in the affairs of the state of Alaska. Unfortunately that is due to the simple fact that the feds own the vast majority of Alaska. The present Biden regime’s plan for Alaska is to turn it into a one big national park. So why vote to confirm someone who is dedicated to advance programs totally opposed to the development of Alaska’s economy? For Lisa, it is relatively simple. She is simpley one of them- a radical leftist who still tries to play the Republican card in a red state. Hopefully her political days are numbered. In Don’s case, it seems he is very busy playing the ‘maverick’ i.e. “nobody, including Trump, is going to tell me what to do, after all, I’ve been in Congress since the Jurassic age and have seen it all.” In Dan’s case, he seems to be stuck with the archaic notion that ‘whoever the democrats want in their cabinet, they should be entitled to have him/her’ regardless if they are bad for Alaska’s interests. Never mind that democrats held up virtually every nomination President Trump put forward when getting his administration started up.

    These three geniuses who purport to represent us and the state of Alaska, do not realize that this Biden regime are putting forth the most radical transformation of American society- right under their noses. They are too busy playing ‘reach across the aisle’ games with those who do not care in the least about the interests of Alaskans. With Lisa and Don, we don’t have very high expectations. And they are very good at meeting them. With Dan, we are becoming very disappointed because we like and respect him on a personal level. But with Dan the tide is changing. He is on everyone’s watch list. The disappointment is quickly morphing into the realization that we may have another Lisa in the making.

  4. Thank Lisa Murkowski for what looks like a permanent closure of the ANWR Coastal Plain to oil development. She had a staunch ally in Trump & chose to backstab him at every opportunity & Alaskans received a kick in the teeth from her buddy, Beijing Biden in return!

  5. No company will invest in remote oil like that with the abundance of cheap oil from the lower 48, middle east, and Russia. Fracking is the reason. It simply costs too much for that oil. THe price is currently artificially inflated by the cartel.

  6. Keep the oil in ANWR until we really need it…after Russia and OPEC have depleted theirs we will still have ours. Right now it’s just money grabbing by people who can’t see the forest thru the trees.

  7. Big oil has gone woke to appease an active minority of their shareholders. Don’t count on any new major oil field discoveries by big oil in the future, they’re too busy going green as they cower from any possible criticism by a very small handful of very vocal twitter-idiots (twidiots?), who seem to be running our country these days.

    Maybe some of the smaller companies will be able to pull of a few big discoveries – as long as they are able to defy the green onslaught.

  8. By canceling ANWR leases Alaska will save a lot of money. The Federal lease program requires significant up front expenses and time before any drilling for oil. Those expenses would run well over $100 million over a few years. Quite telling that no oil majors bid on leases because the ROI is simply not there.

  9. While Europe faces a natural gas crisis, U.S. producers have snapped up shale assets that European oil majors have sold off to slash carbon emissions.

    But analysts don’t expect U.S. producers to boost drilling despite oil hitting its highest levels in nearly three years. Gabriele Sorbara, a senior equity analyst at Siebert Williams Shank & Co. sees U.S. shale oil companies remaining in “maintenance mode” for drilling and completing new wells.

  10. The Department of the Interior is the Largest Environmental Criminal in the World. As they look the other way most countries rape and pillage the earth to accomplish “resource extraction”. The DOI knows they can establish a precedent on “how to do it right” but just refuse to take any action other than “no action”
    BTW— Those of us from the Pacific Northwest understand that 90% of the fires in the west were caused by the “Phony Spotted Owl controversy”. That stopped the USFS from contracting out logging and bankrupted many counties from their tax money. The result” the spotted owl has increased 300% prefers living in “Clear Cuts” because the hunting is so much easier. Will the Environmentalists admit their mistake and pay damages—–NO

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