On Sunday, the Biden Administration’s Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that it will prohibit oil and gas drilling on up to 16 million acres of land in Alaska, in yet another move to reduce American energy independence.
According to Axios, the move is the latest by Biden in his campaign to reduce the production of fossil fuels within the United States, as his administration attempts to force the country towards “alternative” energy sources, also known as “green energy,” such as wind, solar, and electric. Alaska in particular has become a frequent target of far-left climate protesters, demanding that no more drilling be done anywhere in the state.
One project that has earned backlash from the far-left is the ConocoPhillips Willow oil project, a massive facility located on the northern slope of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA). The ConocoPhillips project received official approval during the presidency of Donald Trump, and has widespread bipartisan support within Alaska, including from unions, Native Alaskan leaders, and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
A new proposed rule by the Biden DOI would block oil drilling in at least 13 million acres of the NPRA, ostensibly to protect wildlife in the area. The administration also seeks to ban all future oil and gas leases in the Arctic Ocean within American territory.
In a statement justifying the decision to forbid oil and gas drilling in 2.8 million acres of the Beaufort Sea, the DOI claimed that the move “ensures this important habitat for whales, seals, polar bears, as well as for subsistence purposes, will be protected in perpetuity from extractive development.”
The move would also be “responding to Alaska Native communities who have relied on the land, water, and wildlife to support their way of life for thousands of years,” the statement added.