Biden Nixes Alaska Oil Leases, Undermines National Security

Joe Biden’s administration has again taken a step many conservatives argue undermines America’s energy independence and national security. This time, it’s about Alaska and its abundant natural resources. On Wednesday, Biden’s team announced the abrupt cancellation of seven 10-year oil and gas leases issued in early 2021, spanning 365,775 acres in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). These leases, granted during the administration of President Donald Trump, were revoked despite a federal law mandating such lease sales by 2024.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) didn’t mince words, saying his state “feels like a victim under this administration.” His concerns are not isolated. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) told Fox News Digital that Biden’s actions have ignited “palpable anger and frustration” among Alaskans and pose a risk to “the energy security of the nation.”

The Interior Department also proposed blocking off 13 million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve and an additional 2.8 million acres in the Beaufort Sea from oil and gas leasing. Dunleavy observed that this is part of a pattern, stating, “This is just two of 55 actions that the federal government under this administration is perpetrating against Alaska right now.”

While Biden and his Interior Secretary Deb Haaland claim their motive is environmental stewardship, they miss the larger picture. Dunleavy pointed out that other major oil producers like Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are “laughing” at America’s self-imposed limitations. Dunleavy told Fox Business Network host Larry Kudlow, “They’re laughing together at the United States of America.”

Indeed, why would America hamstring its energy sector when competitors and adversaries aren’t following suit? This move puts the nation at a disadvantage geopolitically and risks American jobs and livelihoods. Alaska depends on oil and gas activities for crucial community funding, including schools, health care, and emergency services. By curtailing these leases, Biden is essentially sidelining not just an industry but an entire state’s well-being.

Even the Native Alaskans, who should be the real stakeholders in decisions about their ancestral lands, are getting a raw deal. Sen. Sullivan mentioned a “grave injustice to the Inupiat people of the North Slope,” stating that the administration’s idea of ‘equity’ is being exploited as a hollow political soundbite.

And it’s not just Alaskans who will feel the repercussions. American consumers can expect higher energy prices, which are already inflating at an alarming rate. “It’s really hurting the single mom with three kids who’s trying to make it in this world of hyperinflation,” warned Dunleavy.
So what’s the endgame here? According to Dunleavy, Biden’s strategy makes sense “unless your goal is to drive up the cost of oil and gas so much that it makes certain renewables cheaper.” Yet, this approach risks destabilizing the current energy market without a reliable alternative, leaving Americans paying the price.