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Biden’s war on Alaska will benefit Russia

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AFTER CEDING AFGHANISTAN TO CHINA, WILL JOE CEDE ALASKA’S ENERGY RICHES TO RUSSIA?

By DUGGAN FLANAKIN

Joe Biden’s war on fossil fuels has taken perhaps its heaviest toll on the 49th State. Oil and gas account for roughly half of Alaska’s economy and a quarter of its jobs. There would be lots more oil and gas jobs in Alaska but for Biden, who unilaterally suspended all oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that President Trump had earlier approved. Now that action is being challenged in court.

The ANWR suspensions came on the heels of the weak defense of ConocoPhillips’ Willow Master Development Plan. In October, the Biden Justice Department opted not to continue its defense of the project after the Alaska federal district court ruled against what would have been the largest oil and gas drilling project in the Alaskan Arctic.

Adding insult to injury, just as he did by vacating sanctions that had blocked construction by Russia of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, President Joe opted to abandon the Arctic and the people of Alaska. In turn, he opened an even wider door for Russia to overtake the U.S. as an oil and gas producer. Lest anyone forget, the Nord Stream deal was announced weeks after Biden killed the Keystone Pipeline, also by Executive Order.

Thanks to Biden policies, Russia has become America’s No. 2 foreign oil supplier. Russia has more than doubled its oil sales to the U.S. since Biden took office; Russian oil now doubles Alaskan oil’s contribution to U.S. consumption. While Alaska’s oil and gas production has fallen by 75 percent since 1988, seriously impacting state revenues, Biden has enabled Putin’s Russia to gain U.S. market share equal to Alaska’s entire current output.

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) has sued President Biden, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and others in the Biden Administration, stating that their actions to obstruct and delay the development of valid oil and gas leases in the non-wilderness Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are unlawful.

In the 32-page filing, before the U.S. District Court for Alaska, the plaintiff explained that AIDEA had won the right to bid on leases to pursue drilling in ANWR when a federal judge denied any injunctive efforts to stop the oil and gas sale.

Biden disregarded this order on his first day of office by placing a “temporary” moratorium on ANWR development. He followed up in June by halting exploration and development on those leases, claiming that legal deficiencies in the oil and gas leasing program necessitated a new environmental review. In August, Haaland announced that Interior would still need more than a year to complete its “review.” Any bets on the outcome?

AIDEA argued that these actions violated the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that opened the door for the January 2021 lease sale. AIDEA had won seven 10-year leases in that sale to pursue development on tracts totaling about 370,000 acres in the 19-million-acre refuge.

AIDEA contends that “defendants have defied a direct congressional mandate[emphasis added] to facilitate development of oil and gas resources on the coastal plain of Alaska. Rather than follow the law and the science, defendants have engaged in a politically driven, systematic campaign to prevent any Coastal Plain development.”

AIDEA is seeking a declaratory judgment holding that the Biden ANWR moratorium violates the Administrative Procedures Act. The plea also asks for declaratory judgments that the Biden moratorium and Interior’s actions violate the 2017 Tax Act and constitute unlawful withholding and unreasonable delay of agency action – and are also arbitrary and capricious.

AIDEA also seeks permanent injunctions against the federal defendants and an order compelling the government to proceed with leasing and development. They are going for the grand slam homer while down by three in the bottom of the ninth. America needs Alaska’s oil and gas. But Biden would rather buy it from Russia. And OPEC (whom he is begging!). And Venezuela. [Alas, China has none to spare.]

Biden’s war on Alaska would be bad enough, but Russia is also engaged in polar geopolitics and has been investing heavily in the Arctic. According to Heritage Foundation scholars, Russia is spending nearly a billion dollars by 2026 to complete building a fiber optic cable (the Polar Express) spanning nearly 8,000 miles from the northern village of Teriberka to Vladivostok.

The state-funded project was authorized under Russia’s 2018 Northern Sea Route Development Plan, which calls for significant increases in Arctic development by 2035. Putin’s Russia is also expanding Arctic oil and gas drilling, including a new project in the Laptev Sea. Russia has even stepped up its Arctic military presence, with new patrol vessels and new marine bases.

The once-dubbed “evil empire” also aims to test its Poseidon nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed torpedo in the Arctic from newly refitted nuclear submarines. And Russia has over 40 ice-breaking ships, compared to America’s two, one of which is over 30 years old; neither can travel in U.S. waters above the Arctic Circle.

Biden has, you may have noticed, brought expanded oil and gas and coal operations to countries around the world while depriving Americans of hundreds of thousands of direct jobs and leaving millions unwilling to work at all. The latest polls show him 2 points behind the much-maligned and twice-impeached Donald Trump.

Biden’s anti-development policies play well with well-heeled environmental groups who oppose any use of fossil fuels in the West and by Africans (but not by Russians, Chinese, Indians, Iranians, or OPEC members). He has plowed on despite falling polls and rising prices for gasoline, home heating, groceries, and just about everything else.

He knows he is not running again and has nothing to lose. He is effectively President for Life (at least his political life) only if he continues to please the far left. Expect no course corrections.

Duggan Flanakin is Director of Policy Research for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. The column first appeared in Real Clear Energy.

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Latest comments

  • Complete BS!

  • Birds of a feather……..

  • Biden’s clear agenda: destroying the USA by any and all means possible.

    • Jefferson: once again with the exaggeration. It diminishes the impact of your concern.

      • It is sad, Evan, that you cannot see reality objectively.
        .
        The reality of this administration’s willful undermining and destruction of this nation, in preparation to rebuild it in a purely totalitarian manner under their globalist “Great Reset” agenda, cannot be underestimated or denied.

  • Yep. Let’s go Brandon!!! 2024 can’t come fast enough. 2022 may be able to slow his detrimental progress, but won’t totally stop it unless we get the right people in office. Tschibaka and Begich have got to replace Young and Murkowski!

    • That’s not going to change a thing. We need a total shift away from the lesser of two evils. One is from a family that specializes in special interests and the other worked in the swamp. Don’t think for a minute these two will be any different.
      It’s time to be brave and place Freedom and Liberty ahead of our normal comfort zone and vote 3rd party.

      • IMO it’s time the third parties start to stand behind the most qualified center-right candidates; who actually have a chance of winning, instead of offering their own forever losers.
        So far all they’ve done is help the Dem candidates win.

  • For you greenies out there…which country do you think has the most environmentally tough laws when pertaining to oil production? Saudi Arabia, Russia, or the U.S? How much oil is burned into the atmosphere transporting that oil to the U.S. verses running down the Alaskan pipeline? We are making other countries rich, hurting the environment, and causing inflation with the Delaware Dummys policies…In case you didn’t know …. Saudi Arabia and Russia both cut production in response to the Delaware Dummy’s freeing up of 50 million barrels of oil….oh 50 million barrels is about 3 days worth of energy in our country…feeble, ridiculous, and keeping us dependent on foreign oil.

  • Brandon is being controlled by the puppeteer Obama and other players. Remember Obama and the famous hot Mic statement. Nothing has changed, there’s always been the liberal wish to work with Russia on these things. Hillary tried to rope a dope with steel dossier in the end that didn’t play out. It did enough damage and possibly Trump deserves a mulligan and exonerated from being impeached just to make the record straight.

    • Why does trump deserve a mulligan?

      • Because he was wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t do.

        • Greg: You are profoundly in opposition to a mountain of evidence. You just are. Sure as eggs are eggs, you are wrong.

          • Set up and framed with the Steele dossier.

      • Because his golf game sucks. Ahahahahaha!

  • I remember him saying something about a “dark winter” on the campaign trail.

  • Biden is doing as told. The aggressive, systematic dismantling of America. He is bought and paid for, after all. China and Russia own him.

    The left knows these are unpopular moves and don’t care. Not do they care about the law. That’s clear.
    The endgame is simple. Do as much damage as possible and count on the apathy of the average American to make it stick.

  • Good article until the third from the bottom paragraph. There is no need to chastise President Trump who did more for Alaska than any Presidents in my 57 year life so far. We could have done away with making the comment that President Trump was tried by a Kangaroo Court that is the House for pure political reasons.

    • Steve: you’ve been conned by a master crook, mr Trump.

      • Trump is suddenly a master crook? How can he be a master at that, and “Orange Man Bad” at everything else?

        • Joseph, use your imagination. If Trump is good at being bad, is he good or bad?

          • Name what bad thing he did and stop trolling.

          • Evan, yes it takes an enormous imagination to believe that Trump was the personification of evil 😈.
            Especially in light of his record.

          • You do know that that Marxist Koolaid you’re drinking and trying to offer to everyone else is poisoned, right?

  • If you wanted to destroy the American economy, would you do anything different than what this
    malodorous administration is doing?
    Let’s go Brandon. Let’s go Lisa, Let’s go Don, Let’s go Dan.

  • Of course it will benefit Russia. Afterall the mayor of Moscow’s ol’ lady has to get something in return for her bribe paid to Gibberish Joe’s delinquent son.

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