Breaking: Trump moves quickly to get leases on ANWR, liberal media panics - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, June 14, 2021
HomePoliticsBreaking: Trump moves quickly to get leases on ANWR, liberal media panics

Breaking: Trump moves quickly to get leases on ANWR, liberal media panics

Bureau of Land Management Alaska will publish a notice Tuesday calling for nominations and comments on 32 tracts covering all 1.6 million acres of the Coastal Plain along the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to consider in its upcoming Coastal Plain oil and gas lease sale.  

The Washington Post said officials are aiming “to sell drilling rights to the pristine wilderness’s coastal plain before the president-elect takes office.”

“The move would be a capstone of President Trump’s efforts to open up public lands to logging, mining and grazing — something Biden strongly opposes,” The Post reported. “A GOP-controlled Congress in 2017 authorized drilling in the refuge, a vast wilderness that is home to tens of thousands of migrating caribou and waterfowl, along with polar bears and Arctic foxes.”

The notice announces a 30-day period in which parties may nominate  or comment on tracts proposed in an upcoming oil and gas lease sale. The BLM Alaska State Office said in a press release today the deadline for input is Dec. 17.

Bloomberg News quoted David Hayes, a former deputy secretary at the Interior Department who is part of the Biden transition team:

“Everyone has to be vigilant over the next 60-odd days because the administration can create more work for the people coming in,” said Hayes, who now leads New York University’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center. “They can take additional actions here that will put sand in the gears of the early Biden administration.”

“The 11th-hour regulatory race underscores the extent to which federal agencies are anticipating Biden’s swearing-in as U.S. president on Jan. 20 even as President Donald Trump refuses to concede the election. It also reveals a widespread effort by Trump officials to leave their imprint on federal policy and — at least temporarily — tie the hands of their successors,” Bloomberg reported.

The Post described the backlash that major companies might face if they dare touch the leases:

“Any company thinking about participating in this corrupt process should know that they will have to answer to the Gwich’in people and the millions of Americans who stand with us. We have been protecting this place forever,” Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, said in a statement to the Post. The reporter described her as someone “whose people have traveled with the caribou on the refuge for thousands of years.”

Earlier this year, five major banks announced they would not lend to any company drilling in ANWR. Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup all took the side of the environmental industry.

But smaller companies might be willing to take the risk against the expected backlash. Some Alaska Native corporations are interested.

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, a major company in Alaska and an Alaska Native corporation, has favored a lease sale, and in a statement in September says it strongly believes “exploration and production can incorporate cultural and environmental protections while providing for the nation’s energy security. This economic driver will provide opportunities for our people and our region, as well as the rest of the state and nation for years to come.”

After the December deadline, a Federal Register Notice of Sale that considers this input, solicits bids, and announces the lease sale date will be published at least 30 days prior to the sale date. 

“Receiving input from industry on which tracts to make available for leasing is vital in conducting a successful lease sale,” said BLM Alaska State Director Chad Padgett. “This call for nominations brings us one step closer to holding an historic first Coastal Plain lease sale, satisfying the directive of Congress in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and advancing this administration’s policy of energy independence.” 

The opening of ANWR came with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump Dec. 22, 2017, a year after he was elected. The first Coastal Plain oil and gas lease sale will offer at least 400,000 acres of high-potential hydrocarbon lands for bid.

For 30 years prior, ANWR’s coastal plain, which had been set aside for oil and gas development, was undeveloped as environmentalists, presidents, and congresses failed to act, in spite of numerous efforts by Alaska’s congressional delegation.

A map showing potential lease tracts and additional information is available at the BLM Alaska Oil and Gas Lease Sale web page.  

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Written by

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.

Latest comments

  • The banks that refuse to invest in the Arctic were petitioned by that useless witch Hirono from Hawaii and 14 other senators that thought it was a good idea to screw Alaska. I will never be going to Hawaii again for work or vacation. They don’t get any of my money and any Alaskan aware of the actions of the Hawaiian senator should be like minded.

    • I don’t go into any blue state and haven’t for years. I don’t give them any of my hard-earned money. Let them pay their own bills.

      • I boycott them

      • Same here. I try to avoid businesses based in Marxist states.

      • Let me know what Red State Alaska Airlines flies directly to?

  • These outside Alaska entities and media need to stay the hell out of Alaskan business.

  • When is the best time to do something that you should have done years ago…Why today is the best time to get it done now…I am sure Congressman Young will be happy and Senator Sullivan but have some reservations if our Senior Senator will be cheering this move..

  • Alaska can’t stay the elite vacationers’ backyard playground forever, while they vacation to Alaska 4 months on a calendar year!

  • Yes- put as much sand in the gears and sugar in the gas tank of Pedo Joe the Manchurian Candidate and the DNC commie machine as we possibly can! Go POTUS!

  • “Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, said in a statement to the Post. The reporter described her as someone “whose people have traveled with the caribou on the refuge for thousands of years.”

    Only now they do it by snowmachines – powered by oil products!

  • The big question is how much recoverable oil exists in the refuge. To me, based on the lack of interest from the majors sadly not enough.

  • It’s not about the environment, it’s about the money. California is the seventh-largest oil-producing state. That is their motivation for keeping ANWR locked up. When ANWR comes on line, the majority of California producers won’t be able to compete.
    Google “California oil wells” and see for yourself just how precarious California’s economy is, and how the oil industry is bailing just enough water to keep California from sinking. They’re between a rock and a hard spot, and are trying to keep Alaska down, just so they can stay afloat for a few moments longer.

  • We awesoming the refuge holds significant enough oil reserves to affect global prices-frankly that is off base on number of aspects:

    If open today it would be years before infrastructure would be built-m for oil would flow from refuge.

    There is no prediction the refuge holds large enough oil reserved to affect global prices.

    The majors are not showing up to the lease sale for a reason-they clearly know something about the amount of economically recoverable reserves that we don’t.

    • Preliminary testing has been done. The reserves are generally known. Now it will be a matter of narrowing the target areas.
      The access pipelines would be laid the same season the well pads were built. Were talking three years at most, from open to drill, and another season until pumping oil.
      There is the chance that the oilies may drill, to prove the resource, but slow-play it until prices improve.

  • Biden didn’t win. The 46th POTUS will be Mike Pence.

  • Drill, baby, Drill.

  • Energy independence = no more Middle East wars. Also, China can go mind its own business and stop worrying about how to screw over the US. We need to manufacture our own goods and stop being dependent on foreign governments. Those who are pushing dependence have been paid off to harm the American people.

    Traitors in the Lower 48 need to stop serving Chinese interests. And the Gwich’in need to quit bitchin. Certain people have been reliable stooges for the Anti-Alaskan agenda for a long time and it needs to stop.

  • They peddle panic, and they do it well.

  • What President-elect??? The election result aren’t resolved yet.

  • Dept of Labor just released a report saying Alaska lost over 3,000 jobs in the oil and gas industries due to COVID and declining prices. We really do need to get these back and hopefully add some more. We can’t achieve this and replace lost revenue by locking up the state and making it a playground for the rich liberal elite.

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