By RICK WHITBECK / POWER THE FUTURE
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.