Alaska liberty group sues Biden Administration to get access to secret communications on oil shutdowns



The Americans for Prosperity Foundation filed a court action Tuesday against the Biden administration, claiming they have failed to respond properly to a request for information on oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.The Trump administration approved the oil and drilling leases in January 2021, shortly before the former president left office. The Biden administration canceled them last month, citing concerns about climate change.

AFP filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the secretary of the Department of Interior, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, according to court documents provided by the organization.

The departments acknowledged the requests were received but have not provided them, according to AFP. The group asks the U.S. District Court to order the departments to release the information.

A spokesman with the Bureau of Land Management told The Center Square the department does not respond to pending litigation.

The court action is the second filed this month over the canceled leases. The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority is asking a federal court to reverse the Biden administration’s decision. The agency said the leases are legal and the Biden administration did not get Alaska officials a chance to fix any problems.

The AIDEA is also asking the court to order the Biden administration to proceed with the leasing and development of the area.

The Interior Department’s decision hurts Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said when the lawsuit was filed.

“The federal government is determined to strip away Alaska’s ability to support itself, and we have got to stop it,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “Alaska does responsible oil and gas development in the Arctic under stricter environmental standards than anywhere else in the world. Yet the federal government is focused on trying to stop our ability to produce oil and gas.”


    • AIDEA is the only group suing over leases–apparently AFP is suing over their FOIA request, but the article isn’t clear if the FOIA was dismissed or simply hasn’t been responded too. (Which was the recent subject of an MRAK article–the delays in FOIA responses.) AFP wouldn’t have any standing to sue as they aren’t an “injured party” with the Coastal Plain leases being cancelled. AIDEA’s hail mary is another waste of funds–the Court has already ruled the leases could be legally cancelled by Interior, whether anyone likes it or not.

      • I read that AFP is suing the Biden admin. over its refusal to provide information requested under, and required by, a Freedom of Information Act request. Seems to me that AFP is an injured party and should have standing as such.

      • AFP has standing when their FOIA request gets shelved by the government. That’s not how FOIA works. You fill out the paperwork, send in the request, they send the requested information back to you. If it’s a request that takes lots and lots of resources to fulfill, the requestor can be charged fees for some of the work required. Still, an agency or group of agencies don’t have the right to just decide not to respond. That’s illegal. That’s a winning lawsuit if it goes to court.

  1. The oil companies are not real keen on ANWAR. Plenty of potential but requiring lots of investment, a long lead time to production, and plenty of political risk. The State would like to see something happen, naturally.

    • The only issue they’re worried about is another lease cancellation. Lefties blowing smoke with the financial deals, but there are easy work arounds (AIDEA).

  2. This comment has nothing to do with this article, but I hope the Must Read Editor follows up and asks questions

    IN today’s ADN Alyse Galvin talks about Alaska failing children.. Must Read Alaska MUST ask her about the time when as the head of the Steller Secondary Parent Group she misused her position by forcing a young girl to leave Steller so that the Principal’s dog could continue to roam the halls after said dog had an incident with that child. Alyse’s policy of pets over children in schools ( she was currying favor with the principal who wanted his dog to have free run of the school ) was disgraceful, and shows how fake she really is. PS over 300 parents witnessed ( and voted on Alyses dogs first resolution,) so fact checking is easy.

  3. Meanwhile back in Alaska , 500,000 barrels of daily oil production sits in the ground under the north slope ! No capital for development of these oil discovery’s , no roads to haul the equipment and rigs in ! All this acreage is under state lands and no access year around . Willow is under federal lands and not much of the royalty payments come to the state anyway .

    Why is not Dunleavy concerned about this ? Because no governor as ever produced a drop of oil in this state and never will ? Truth be known , he probably does know about the discovery’s under state control ! Crazy !

  4. Smith Bay Discovery by Caelus in 2016 200,000 BPD (barrels per day ) . No roads , no access .

    Pikka Discovery by Armstrong 80,000 BPD Santos/OilSearch , work this winter , lawsuits in court for access

    L-88 Discovery west of Franklin Bluffs 200,000 BPD ( 1.5B recoverable ) . No roads , no access

    Stinson Discovery 20,000 BPD drilled in 80’s east of PtThomson , no roads , no access

    West Castle (adjoins Willow to the west ) estimated 80,000 BPD not drilled or tested . No roads no access

    Several smaller fields with no permanent access

  5. If you think the Feds are not playing fair look at the Point Thomson confidential well/s lawsuits and the Greater Point Thomson Unit appeal and tell me what you think. The roadblocks are many and the fact they have no roads shows someone in power wants to stop small oil and gas investors from causing more production, why?


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