Biden Administration Deals Hypocritical Blow to American Energy
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2023 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
Today, the Biden administration took yet another step in limiting future American energy production by further restricting development in Alaska's North Slope while approving a limited version of the Willow project. House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) released the following statement in response:
“The Willow project will provide essential jobs and revenue for Alaska, and increase American energy security. However, in a now-familiar pattern, the Biden administration is attempting to have their cake and eat it too. At the same time the administration approved the Willow project, they quietly announced massive restrictions on future leases in the North Slope and the Arctic Ocean. Lessening our dependence on foreign oil and lowering energy costs for American families should be a top priority, yet President Biden continues to attack American energy production and hardworking citizens. This deal also comes on the same weekend China negotiated a peace deal with Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the day the Saudi oil company, Aramco, claimed the highest ever recorded annual profit by a publicly listed company of $161 billion. Global fossil fuel consumption continues to grow from sources that are much dirtier than American-made energy. These jobs and profits could be going to hardworking Americans and their communities while also making the environment cleaner."
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) released the following statement in response:
“The Biden Administration takes one step forward and one step back. The Willow Project is much needed for the North Slope, the Alaskan people, and for America’s energy security. However, taking offline millions of acres in the surrounding region, especially in a region where lands were specifically set aside for oil and gas development, is a further surrender to keep-it-in-the-ground activists while potentially kneecapping the use of key energy reserves in the future.”
The Willow project has received bipartisan support from the Alaska delegation and will be a major win for the state's economy and America's energy security. The project will create 2,500 construction and long-term jobs, increase domestic energy production, reduce our reliance on foreign oil and could generate between $8 billion and $17 billion in new revenue for the federal government, the state of Alaska and local indigenous communities. The project also has support from Alaska Native groups on the North Slope who believe it will help fund local services and provide an important boost to their communities. More than 95 percent of the North Slope Borough’s tax revenue and a third of Alaska’s private-sector jobs come from the oil and gas industry.
Just last month, the White House released a final supplemental environmental review of the project which allowed for three drilling sites to be built, a major reduction from the initially proposed five sites. However, today's decision to limit future leasing in the region is yet another setback for American energy independence and security. This type of backhanded policymaking is an attempt by the Biden administration to arbitrarily lock up federal lands for energy production, and is the type of inconsistent energy policy that has held American production back and increased our reliance on foreign oil.
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