Thursday, June 8, 2023
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Biden strikes again at Alaska: Bureau of Land Management signals it will close half of National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

Although there seems little Alaska’s top lawmakers can do, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the entire D.C. delegation issued statements today condemning the Bureau of Land Management’s intention to close millions of acres of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, which has in the past been available for resource development.

“This request for additional stay and accompanying information makes clear the Federal government intends another unwarranted hit to Alaska and the nation,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “What they propose would further harm Alaska’s oil industry and disproportionately negatively affect Alaska Natives. The U.S. Department of Interior proposes to lock-down Alaska, take away local opportunities, resources, and other benefits that the National Petroleum Reserve is intended for. This is another sign of the federal government turning its back on Alaska and hampering domestic energy production. The U.S. Department of Interior is putting the nation in a situation where we have to rely on foreign oil countries at a time for growing prices and concern for American consumers.”

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The Biden administration announced on Monday it is are choosing Alternative A – the “No Action Alternative” from the NPR-A’s 2020 Integrated Activity Plan, as its preferred alternative.

This would close approximately half of the surface acreage of the reserve to energy leasing and regresses NPR-A management back to policies established in 2013 under the Obama Administration.

The current administration has shown a pattern of routinely attempting to shut down domestic energy production in Alaska and other parts of the United States, Dunleavy said in a statement.

The announcement disregards the concerns and input of the local Alaska Native people who rely on the NPR-A for employment and much needed funding for infrastructure projects and community needs through the Impact Mitigation Grant Fund, which is funded exclusively through royalties and revenues generated from oil & gas development in the NPR-A.

The groups affected by this decision, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, and the North Slope Borough, reported concerns with yesterday’s decision by the Biden administration, which claims that Biden’s top public policy goal is to advance racial equity and support underserved communities, yet contradicts these values with this decision. If the Biden Administration goes through with it, approximately half of the surface acreage of the reserve, which is roughly the size of Indiana, to energy leasing.

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, issued the following statements:

“With zero analysis or consultation with Alaskans, the Biden administration has decided to upend the NPR-A’s current management plan to return to an outdated policy that is worse for our state’s economy, worse for our nation’s energy security, and contrary to federal law,” Senator Murkowski said. “BLM claims a need for greater ‘balance’ in managing this area, but fails to realize that balance is what will be lost through this move. This is a petroleum reserve, specifically designated for energy development, located within a state that already has tens of millions of acres of parks, refuges, and federal wilderness. The current management plan was carefully crafted to protect the reserve’s most sensitive areas and includes numerous safeguards for responsible development. Sweeping restrictions like this – which are being imposed even as the Biden administration implores OPEC+ to produce more oil – demonstrate everything that is wrong with its energy policies.”

“There they go again. Yesterday it was 20 executive actions from the Biden administration targeting our state’s economic opportunities and future, today it’s 21. No state in the country has been singled out like Alaska with such a destructive war on our working families, which hits our Alaska Native communities particularly hard,” said Senator Sullivan. “Moving to revert back to the 2013 Obama administration version, which removes roughly fifty percent of the NPRA from oil and gas development, will hurt Alaska’s economic future, our nation’s security, and likely violates federal law. Reverting back to the 2013 management plan is not only arbitrary and contrary to good science, it will be harmful to the very people and issues the Biden administration purports to care most about—indigenous communities, and racial and environmental equity. Instead, the Biden White House is taking its orders from radical extreme environmental groups who care nothing about Alaskans. I will continue to fight this war on Alaska’s workers and economy with everything I’ve got.”

“For years, the NPR-A has been crucial to providing affordable energy to families across our country. This move by the Biden Administration is not only insulting to the hardworking men and women on the North Slope, but also extremely foolish. Gas prices around the nation are soaring; why then would President Biden and the BLM want to kneecap our domestic production, thereby emboldening our oil-producing adversaries overseas? This decision is yet another insult among a series of anti-Alaska actions taken by this Administration. By reverting to the 2013 IAP, BLM is attempting to shut down almost 50% of the NPR-A – that’s over 11 million acres. To put this in perspective, the President’s home state of Delaware could fit in this part of the NPR-A about seven times over. No state should be subject to such a heavy-handed decision, and certainly not Alaska. Our state has proven that conservation and energy development can go hand in hand. Despite this, the Administration continues working to stifle American energy production and economic opportunity in Alaska,” said Congressman Young. “This reversion, championed by bureaucrats thousands of miles away from the NPR-A, is dead wrong. I condemn it and call on President Biden to end his Administration’s attacks on Alaska’s economy and way of life.”

BLM administers the NPR-A under the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act and other federal laws. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the 23 million-acre region on the western North Slope – roughly the size of the state of Indiana – contains 8.7 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Who is surprised that the 11th hour decisions by the Trump admin is being reversed by the next admin? It really doesn’t change much, since it’s reversing a decision made in Trump’s final month, and everyone was waiting for the Biden admin to review anyway.

    Much ado about nothing…

  2. I once felt it necesary to pray that President Obama did not sell Alaska to Russia.
    These days it is obvious that the Biden Administration has no intention of selling Alaska.
    Simply shutting our state down with the few remaining to be doomed to menial jobs serving wealthy “eco-warriors” fine food and drink. Perhaps we should take a leaf from the past ourselves and offer them free wilderness bus-rides. Long ones.

  3. Should the Communists gain full control, as they are striving to do, and seem to be doing a fair job at, environmental concerns will be out the window, information on environmental incidents will be censored into oblivion, and those who dare to criticize what they see happening will, if they are lucky, be eliminated.

    The same goes for whatever it is that whomever out there perceives as their retirement plan and monies that belong to and are deserved by them. Vaporized like a vote by an algorithm…

    Fail to defend the RULE OF LAW, and pay the price. It does NOT matter WHO you are.

      • Evan,
        It is a failure upon each and every one of our parts to look to, or expect any individual to defend the rule of law. This is responsibility falls upon all of us. Every day.

        Trump is just a man. Fallible as any other. Your insistence upon making it about him defines YOU.

        Sow the wind; reap the whirlwind.

  4. Develop it anyway just like the left would do no rules who going to stop us. They ignore the laws and rules so we can. If not sue for discrimination.

  5. “Federal Land. The federal government is still the largest landowner in Alaska with 60% of the total area (222 million acres). This acreage includes national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, military reservations and the North Slope National Petroleum Reserve.”

    I didn’t know exactly how much the feds owned. We the people only own 40%… I don’t agree with any of what Biden is doing, but when they own what they want to close is there really anything we can do about it? Or am I missing something. I hope something can stop this… Very bad for Alaska.

    • EVs? The fact this govt has dedicated the people’s tax dollars to investing trillions in an already obsolete technology, before it’s even made a foothold, shows how moronic they are. Hydrogen fuel cells have always been more efficient. Energy sources and production are 20 times less expensive, readily available with less destructive extraction or damage to the environment. The energy is logistically easier and less expensive to disburse, requiring less infrastructure developement. It does not depend on production of electricity using fossil fuels at a generating facility, wind, solar or thermal either, which also require foreign resources to rare earth elements, which is destructive and more expensive to mine in order to produce battery and charging products that are not recyclable and become hazardous waste. 100% of products for hydrogen fuel cell tech are recyclable and the bi-product is oxygen and water, not carbon. The current developement of SOLID-STATE hydrogen fuel cells, where hydrogen stores are maintaned in a solid state within the using unit it powers until it is released as a gas upon demand. magnifies the efficiency of the tech ten fold. Asian and European nations have already started turning to this tech after realizing the detriment of dealing with EV expendables, hazardous waste management and cost of infrastructure and EV maintenance. for years now. Why haven’t we? Because the Obama administration banned hydrogen fuel cell technology in the USA in order to eliminate the tech from competing with battery, wind and solar tech, which his administration promised lobbyists of the EV, wind and solar industry he would commit all development funding towards. He rigged the game to benefit the purse of his preferred corporations and lobbyists. Biden is attempring to put us back on that same moronic path to an already obsolete technology. There is no reason whatsoever that visions like Transportarion As A Service (TaaS), self-driving vehicles, green energy transition and individual transportation can’t be maintained without wind, solar, battery and EV tech. Face it people, Obama, Biden, Democrats and big corporations have sold us all out on the benefits of the more efficient and sensible option to battery, solar, wind tech and fossil fuels. It’s never about what makes sense, it’s about where the money goes and who benefits.

      • Terence, I guess the sarcasm in my initial post above was not as obvious as I intended. You are of course correct in all particulars regarding the economic and environmental dead-end that is electric vehicles.

  6. After supporting anti-Alaskan candidates for the Biden Administration, the outrage of Murkowski & Sullivan is laughable.

    • That fact is obvious and undeniable.
      Although I might tweak your claim to state “Biden’s PUPPET MASTERS are determined to destroy America.” Pretendent PotatoHead is just the empty husk of a meat puppet through which they act.

  7. Lisa Murkowski, who (remember, Alaskans) was appointed to her Senate seat by her DADDY, cannot defend Alaska against Joe Biden.

    Remember, Alaskans, that oil is 90% of our state. Remember, Alaskans, she is NOT a Republican who wants to help Alaskans.

    Send Lisa back to her retired Daddy.

  8. What do we expect from a potus who is owned by the Chinese and Iranians – and the eco-left? I would yell “IMPEACH!”, except then we’d get stuck with even worse… elections will have to do. Will we survive until 2024? Statehood Compact lawsuit needs to happen, or perhaps secession.

  9. Republicans need to clean house of these agencies when Trump wins in 2024…In the meantime they are really showing their communistic behaviors…

    • That is what happened in 2016 when Trump reversed NPRA environmental studies and expanded the NPRA drilling area. No explanation on why Biden’s actions were communistic and Trumps were not?

  10. I loathe Democrats. Their intent is to make what was affordable energy into a demon, making it unaffordable to us plebs in exchange for expensive energy solutions that only work half the time, if even that. LP gas is nearing or at $4 a gallon, heating oil (#1 Diesel) is over $3 a gallon and only going to go higher. Why is it that people can’t see that Democrats hate the plebs? Why is it that they can’t understand that the way of life we’ve all be privileged to live will, very soon be only affordable to the elite? To those of you who voted for this – Lets Go Brandon.

  11. Alaska gets very little royalty revenue from NPRA, so all of those out of state workers that pay zero taxes in Alaska will find other out of State jobs

    • Short sighted. It’s not about royalty revenue or even screwing over the producers. It’s about flow of product thru TAPS. Keep shutting down things on the input end, and pretty soon the output end will not have enough to stay operating, which is the entire goal after all. Perhaps you missed that little tidbit. Cheers –

  12. I’ve often wondered if the right has the conviction of the left. The willingness to actually fight when forced. Evidence is ample, especially in Alaska, they do not.
    The left, time and again, violate law, norms, decency, and common sense to get what they want. And it works because the right rolls over like a abused puppy.
    It would be interesting if Alaska, allegedly a conservative state (BS), gave Biden the middle finger and chose to develop anyway. Take a page from the lefts playbook and ignore laws they find inconvenient.
    Sadly we’ll never know since
    1-Alaska is clearly not a conservatives state
    2-It would require a conservative (not a Republican) of courage in the Governor’s office. Dunleavy is a lot of things, but courage and vision are not among them.

  13. I saw a funny last week of december on the road. An electric vehicle carrying atop itself 4 gasoline jugs. I figured something unfortunate happened and driver needed gas for backup. Hahaha.

  14. Calm down folks. This is been done countless times before. The next Republican president will kick the ball down the court the other direction. This is just something that they like doing kind of way to jab the other party in the ribs a bit. No biggie.

  15. Never in a zillion decades would I have imagined this country would be in the state its in. All the freak groups don’t have to do anything, Biden clearly has your backs and he is destroying everything single-handedly.

  16. I’m usually against this admin’s decisions, but this time I’m not. This may be a diamond in the rough of this administration. We’ve had these big global conglomerate companies sucking resources out of our state without paying a fair price for it. Big oil shouldn’t profit off Alaskan suffering. Alaskan’s are strong. We don’t need their help, but if they want to pull riches out of our state they need to pay or they need to leave.

  17. The Obama shadow government continues to marginalize state’s rights. Attorney general should file a suit of continued failure of the feds to conform to the Statehood act.

  18. Why should Democrats care about the quality of lives of Arctic natives? It’s not like they are rich white liberals who donate big money.

  19. How unfortunate that our esteemed political leaders (aka – Ski, Sully & Yung) didn’t see this coming as they supported Deb Haaland. These esteemed political leaders either:
    1) Didn’t or couldn’t see it coming.
    2) Or, refused to acknowledge the threat of this happening.
    In either case, none of them will suffer the consequences rather, Alaska and Alaskans will.
    And, to this date, not one peep from any of them, apologizing and/or asking for forgiveness.
    That’s Unacceptable!

  20. Lisa, Dan, and Don – you three are now pretending you are angry? How embarrassing, do you think we are complete idiot? You voted for the person who did this. Alaskans never forget those who betrayed us. Let’s Go Brandon.

  21. Just when oil prices are closing in on $80 per bbl. we get shut down again. Mining could be next but the Chinese need precious metals so those will probably stay. Funny how some still think petroleum is used only for powering out cars. Everything you wear, sit, touch, use, travel on…all petroleum based products. Even electric cars are full of petroleum.

  22. Time for Dunleavy to step up or step down. He already stated he would stand up to Federal land grabs and reclaim Alaska’s land. Now is your chance Governor! Kick the Feds out if they don’t stop the assault on Alaska’s sovereignty over our lands.

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