While Prices Rise at the Pump, Elected Officials Livid as Biden Cuts U.S. Oil & Gas Production Further

Alaskan elected officials are livid as Biden suspends Oil & Gas leases in in state

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Texas Insider Report) — While Americans continue to face rising prices at the gas pump, and as the nation moves into the summer traveling season, the Biden Administration on Tuesday suspended oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR,) and Alaskan elected officials are livid.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy called the move an “assault on Alaska’s economy,” and pledged to “use every means necessary to undo this egregious federal overreach.”
 
“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,” said Dunleavy.

Each action they take demonstrates a failure to comprehend the worldwide demand for oil and gas.”

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (right,) an Alaska Republican, said that the suspension of leases was contrary to federal law. President Donald Trump's Tax Cuts & Jobs Act passed in 2017 directed the Secretary of the Interior to create the leasing program.
 
“Neither the president, nor the secretary, are given the discretion to decide otherwise,” Murkowski said.
 
 
“We’re extremely disappointed in the Biden Administration’s effort to prevent Alaska from lawfully and responsibly developing its natural resources,” said Alan Weitzner, executive director of the Alaska Industrial Development & Export Authority.

Weitzner noted that the Biden Administration had failed to provide documentation “of any deficiencies that would warrant a suspension of leases.”

Clearly, overturning one of President Trump’s most significant environmental acts during his term in office could spark a major legal battle, as Biden aims to unwind nearly a dozen leases in the heart the expansive Alaska wilderness that Republicans and Democrats have fought over for four decades.

With Tuesday’s White House orders, Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland alleged that the Trump Administration’s leasing program had “multiple legal deficiencies,” including “insufficient analysis” required by environmental laws.

Haaland’s order calls for a temporary moratorium on all activities related to those leases in order to conduct “a new, comprehensive analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the oil and gas program.”

But Tuesday’s move signaled that the new Biden Administration is willing to take aggressive action in an area that has been a rallying cry for environmentalists for decades.
 
“This is certainly a step that the environmental community will smile on, coming at this moment, in view of the recent (Biden) actions that environmentalists didn’t like,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at the Columbia Law School.

“This will help solidify the president’s bona fides in opposing major new fossil fuel projects."

Mr. Biden's moves come with anything but certainty, as conservative groups contend Biden’s suspension of the leases are, in fact, illegal.
 
“The government cannot enter into a contract to take over $14 million and then invalidate the contract without cause,” said Devin Watkins, an attorney for the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“No cause for canceling the ANWR leases has 

With Biden's actions to reverse President Trump's efforts to establish American energy independence – suspending or reversing efforts in ANWR, and eliminating over 100,000 American jobs by halting construction of the Keystone Pipeline during his first day in office – economists predict Biden's actions mean Americans can expect to see rising prices at the pump, and a return to the era of Barack Obama’s “new normal.”

Yet beyond rising prices at the pump, the bigger and longer-term concern is that of national security. The recent temporary gasoline supply shortages caused by the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline brought memories of the gas shortages back from the 1970s.

Similarly, critics of Biden's move say that by continuing to outsource the nation's gas and oil supply, while ceding national security advantages to the likes of Russia, Venezuela, and historically hostile Middle Eastern nations, the Biden Administration is putting the country in more vulnerable – and possibly even dangerous – national security position.
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