AIDEA approves $1.5 million for seismic at its leases in ANWR


Although drilling and exploring in the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge still seems like a far-off prospect, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, which owns many of the leases that were sold by the federal government last year, is going ahead with seismic studies, with the thought that someday it may be able to sell those leases.

There were some members of the public who were less than pleased. Rick Steiner, a consultant with Oasis Earth Environmental Sustainability and long a foe of oil, said the leases are not valid because AIDEA isn’t the kind of agency mentioned as appropriate to bid on the leases. He said only publicly traded agencies and municipalities were mentioned in the ANWR legislation, not a public-private corporation like AIDEA. He was wrong, of course, many types of corporations or agencies that have public oversight may participate.

But Rick Whitbeck, of Power the Future, gave an epic statement during his public testimony, saying that oil and gas will be with us for a long time.

“To my eco-extremist friends on the line, let me be clear,” Whitbeck said. “AIDEA’s leases are binding, regardless of how you feel.  Feelings don’t override facts.  Feelings shouldn’t change good policy, nor should feelings affect what AIDEA’s board does today.”

He then asked the board to pass the resolution, numbered G21-18, and “continue to fight for Alaska’s jobs and energy future, and continue to make prudent decisions in the best interests of our state. “

Before he was done, he reminded the Left that he knew they were listening on the line:

“And to my friends who are members of the radical environmental movement in this state, oil and gas isn’t going away anytime soon.  And when you receive your next Permanent Fund Dividend, make sure to thank an energy worker.  They’re bound to tell you, You’re Fracking Welcome!!  Have a great day, everyone.”

The resolution passed unanimously. AIDEA will spend $1.5 million on seismic studies.

Read: How the Left exploits the Gwich’in and the hypocrisy of it all


  1. a bright lite at the end of the tunnel and we need more of this “we can get it done kind of talk and action”

  2. Oil and gas are going to be around for a long time, we need it for everything, trains, planes and automobiles, it’s how this state functions, how this country functions and without it we would be in the stone age, literally. Those who want Bidens green power please turn in your cell phones, your laptops, your gas guzzling, smoke belching automobiles and find that rainbow unicorn to ride while sporting your banana republic clothing.

  3. YES! $1.5 ain’t a lot but it’s a start. Almost extraordinary how ambiguous and short sighted the Biden Admin is.
    Alaskans, either way must always look out for ourselves…regardless of politics even.

  4. AIDEA has a political nightmare on its hands… They need to improve on their track record in dealing with controversy, but standing Tall in the face of the eco-left on oil development is a great start. “Proving” the reserves in the 1002 by seismic exploration is a great move toward selling their leases at a profit for the State investment & development bank. The big question is whether the oil companies will be willing to risk the political fallout of investing in ANWR and what development might do to drive the lefties to even more radical economically destructive policies. Keep working on that speech Rick Whitbeck – we will need it and you over and over again. Thank you for your courage.

  5. The state owns 24.5 % of Alaska lands. Alaska Natives own 10%, and about 1% is privately owned. That’s over a third of Alaska’s land mass. Maybe we don’t need ANWR nor NPRA.

  6. Um, just cause there’s land don’t mean there is oil/gas there. The Gwichʼin people found that out decades ago when they wanted to extract the resources just to find out there were none. Now they’re activists. Go figure.

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