State files lawsuit over lost revenues resulting from Biden’s cancellation of leases in ANWR

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The State of Alaska filed suit in the United States Court of Federal Claims, where it hopes to make the federal government pay for lost revenues from nine oil and gas leases canceled by the Biden Administration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain.

The lawsuit suit is one of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s many efforts to hold the federal government accountable for the costs of its environmental policies, especially when those decisions lead to severe economic impacts to the State and its citizens, the Department of Law said..

“Oil and gas production from those leases could greatly contribute to our nation’s energy independence and the economy of our state,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “This about-face by the federal government opposes the direction given by Congress and deprives Alaska of our natural resource rights.”

As a condition of joining the Union, Alaska was promised the ability to build its economy through resource development.

“The Biden administration’s decisions since day one have been aimed at making the State of Alaska off limits to any resource development to the detriment of Alaska and Alaskans seeking to provide for their families,” said Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor. “As the rest of the nation celebrates the Fourth of July, the federal government has systematically undermined the State’s ability to maintain its economic independence. This was not what was promised Alaskans at statehood, and why the State must continue to fight.”

“We know these resources can be developed safely and responsibly, and with the support and involvement of the local communities that live within the 1002 Area,” said John Boyle, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. “The only obstacle is the radical environmentalist agenda of the Biden Administration.”

According to its documents, the federal government estimates there are more than seven billion barrels of recoverable oil within the Coastal Plain, and, under federal law, the State is entitled to 50 percent of the royalties paid under the leases. Even if only half of the recoverable oil could be produced, Alaska would be entitled to nearly $25 billion in royalty revenue; this is in addition to the millions owed to the State for its share of the lease rental fees and bonus payments made.

Once the United States issued these leases, it owed the State a duty of good faith to protect the State’s royalty interests. But, by canceling the ANWR leases, the United States breached its obligations. The United States’ policy decisions have consequences, especially when those decisions lead to a breach of contract. Here, one of the consequences of the United States’ cancellation of the Coastal Plain oil and gas leases was to deprive the State of billions of dollars in statutorily-provided revenues. Now it must address the results of that policy by providing all compensation required by law to the State of Alaska.

This lawsuit adds to the growing list of challenges to federal actions affecting Alaskans, most notably the State has filed suits in federal district court and the Court of Federal Claims challenging the EPA’s unlawful decision to put off limits 300 square miles of State lands to mineral development and is asking for $700 billion in compensation.

Read the complaint here.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Tell the feds to go pound sand and drill.
    Those climate believers can quit using fossil fuels and the climate will be ok.

  2. Money doesn’t simply fall from trees in a State that today doesn’t have many income options for its people…. Unless they work somewhere there that assures them secure future incomes, e.g the public sector. So in a capitalist system, States’ rights in a federal republic such as America should. legally be not simply pleaded for, but naturally given constitutionally.

  3. Good in theory, yet does one actually trust the State not to burn through that cash like drunken sailors in Bangkok?

  4. Mary Peltola supports shutting down all oil and gas development in Alaska . This is contrary to her ads on TV . I cannot believe the teamsters came out in support of her . Actually I worked as a teamster for years and know how misinformed labor is in Alaska . However once a person sees this on TV , he or she believes it . Pertola and the millions of dollars pouring into this election cycle from outside sources really offends me as an Alaskan . Head of the Teamsters really offends me as coming out in support of her . I mean really Gary ? Your not speaking for this teamster my friend !

    The recent Supreme Court decision will have an impact on these future decisions that affect all Alaskans . EPA and most of the other agencies won’t be able to make rules that effect us as Alaskans . Oh and by the way Dixon , Pertola and her groupies in DC want to take our guns away , gas stoves away and stop the development of natural gas and a natural gas pipeline from North Slope ? Do you also support that ? I don’t think so ? Dg

  5. At this point I’m not sure a lawsuit is needed, we just need to assert our authority granted by Congress through the Statehood Act by way of the US Constitution and let the federal government sue us for following the law.

    On a side note, we really need to stop electing lawyers to represent the people. Lawyers make up less than 0.4% of the population but makeup 33% of Congress.

  6. The legislature paid for a study years ago which showed the state would lose money if ANWR opened.

    With SB21 oil companies write off expenses from other fields against taxes paid to the state.

    The Feds would get the revenue while the state would lose billions.

    If the state wants to improve revenue, the legislature needs to fix SB21.

    After record oil prices, all other regions in the world are awash with cash.

    Everyone but Alaska.

    Record stock market, record oil prices and we’re broke?

    Dunleavy needs to fire the incompetent Permanent Fund board who has been failing to make money in a record stock market.

  7. Lost revenues? How about Lost Sovereignty?

    Let’s be blunt, as long as the Feds control most of Alaska and heavily regulate the rest, we aren’t really a state, we’re just a glorified territory.

  8. Biden is the best thing that happened to Dunleavy. He got to sign off on the largest PFD check in an election year. Dunleavy is going to get the state 700 billion dollars and we don’t have to risk the Bristol Bay Watershed. Now he is going to get the state billions out of oil leases no oil company wanted. Dunleavy has someone to blame for his inability to bring economic development forward. Dunleavy should send him a thank you note.

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