President Joe Biden suspends oil rental at Alaska Arctic Refuge
Washington (AP) – The Biden administration on Tuesday suspended oil and gas rentals in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, revoked the Trump administration-approved drilling program, as well as in polar bears and d ‘other wildlife habitats. Rekindled the political struggle over a remote region – and abundant oil reserves.
Home Secretary Deb Haaland’s order follows President Joe Biden’s temporary moratorium on oil and gas rental activities on his first day in office. Biden’s executive order of January 20 requires a new environmental review to address potential legal loopholes in drilling programs approved by the Trump administration under the 2017 law enacted by Parliament.
After performing the necessary reviews, Interior said, “We have identified a loophole in the record underlying the decision to support the lease.”
The isolated 19.6 million acre shelter is home to other wildlife, including polar bears, caribou, snowy owls and migratory birds from six continents. Republicans and the oil industry have long sought to open oil-rich shelters sacred by the indigenous Gwich’in people for drilling. Democrats, environmental groups, and some native Alaska tribes have done it. Try to stop.
Environmental groups and Democrats backed the Home Office’s orders, but Alaska’s all-Republican parliamentary delegation accused them of being illegal in the wrong direction.
After:The Biden administration suspended rental sales of oil and gas in January due to climate change. So what?
The US Land Management Authority, the interior agency, leased the coastal plains from the shelter on Jan.6, two weeks before Mr Biden took office. Eight days later, the agency totaled approximately 685 square miles (1,770). We signed a lease for 9 neighborhoods (square kilometers). However, the issuance of the lease was not announced publicly until January 19, the last full day of former President Donald Trump.
Biden opposes drilling in the region, environmental groups are calling for permanent protection, and Biden called for it in the presidential election.
After:Joe Biden, president-elect, vows to ban oil and gas drilling, is looked down upon by industry
The government took action to suspend leasing after authorities disappointed environmental groups last week, defending the Trump administration’s decision to approve a large-scale oil project on the North Slope of Alaska . Critics say the action violates Biden’s commitment to tackle climate change.
The Justice Department has said in court records that opponents of the Willow Project in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve were trying to stop development by “digging” federal records claiming violations of environmental research laws. Declared. The brief defends the review in support of the decision to approve the project plan last fall.
After:Deb Haaland makes history as Native American premier after Senate approval
Kristen Miller, assistant secretary general of the Alaska Wilderness League, welcomed the suspension of the Arctic rental program due to inadequate legal proceedings under Mr. Trump.
“The suspension of these leases is a step in the right direction, and we commend the Biden administration for its commitment to a new program analysis that prioritizes solid science and appropriate tribal consultations,” said she declared.
Miller said more action was needed and called for the permanent cancellation of the lease and the abolition of the 2017 law requiring the drilling of shelters on the coastal plains.
The drill order was included in a major tax cut approved by Republican lawmakers in the first year of President Trump’s inauguration. Republicans have said it could generate around $ 1 billion over a decade, but Democrats have ridiculously exaggerated that number.
Senator Maria Cantwell, who has long opposed drilling in shelters, accused the Trump administration of “trying to make environmental law a shortcut.” It’s done safely and the oil companies don’t want to drill into it, ”Cantwell said.
“Now it is up to Congress to permanently protect this irreplaceable million-year-old ecosystem and to promote new economic opportunities based on the preservation of the pristine public lands of the United States for outdoor recreation. It depends, ”she said.
In a statement, Bernadette Demientiev, secretary general of the Gwich’in State Steering Committee, urged tribal leaders to “protect the Gwich’in sanctuary and way of life” through the Biden administration. He said he was.
She thanked Biden and Harland for “listening to us and standing up for our human rights and our identity.”
After:Joe Biden joins Paris Agreement, demands mask on federal assets with swift day 1 directive
In a joint statement, Alaska Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, along with Senator Don Young and Governor Mike Dunleavy, criticized the actions of the Home Office. All four are Republicans.
The lease, which was sold in January, was “valid and cannot be taken over by the federal government,” Dunleavy said.
Sullivan, who praised Biden for supporting the Willow Oil Project last week, said the suspension of the Arctic lease was “against the will of the indigenous community of law, fact, science and slope. north. It’s just a blatant political gesture to reward the alliance. “
Markowski said the order was “expected, but still sky-high”.
Murkowski, who voted heavily for Harland’s approval in March, said the Secretariat’s order “is in direct conflict with the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017” and “in particular, ANWR (designated). The goal of the region is oil and gas development. “
“This action has no other goal than to disrupt the economy of Alaska and put energy security at great risk,” said Markovsky.
Source link President Joe Biden Suspends Oil Rental at Alaska Arctic Refuge