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 September 7, 2023

Joe Biden cancels oil leases in Alaska

The Biden administration confirmed Wednesday it plans to cancel seven oil and gas leases in an Alaskan wildlife refuge.

The move is a change to plans in 2021 that expected to renew the leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The announcement

“On day one of this administration, President Biden directed us to look at the oil and gas leases sold in the refuge by the previous administration,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said on a call with reporters Wednesday.

“What we have found in our analysis is that the lease sale itself was seriously flawed and based on a number of fundamental legal deficiencies," she added.

The limitations

"Environmentalists praised the decision but it was lambasted by a Republican Senator from Alaska, where officials have sought to open up drilling in the reserve to secure jobs and revenues for the state," Reuters reported.

"The government also said it would forbid new leasing on more than 10 million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, a 23 million-acre area on the state's North Slope that is the largest undisturbed public land in the United States," it continued.

Republican frustrations

Many conservative lawmakers have expressed frustration over the Biden administration's approach to fossil fuels.

"With the price for a gallon of gas at a historic high, Joe Biden has decided to cancel a key oil and gas lease," Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said last year after the cancellation of another Alaskan oil and gas lease.

"It's time to END Biden's war on American energy and unleash American energy dominance," she added on X.

Biden's climate-change-friendly agenda has led to record-level gas prices during his presidency, with prices now the highest in 2023 as Saudi Arabia announced cutting back on oil production through the end of the year.

The move won't help Biden's image with many Americans more concerned over what they pay at the pump, as well as the jobs lost in the oil and gas industry through his policies.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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