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Press Release

Biden Deals Devastating Blows to Alaskan Communities, Tribes and Energy Security

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 19, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
  • EMR Subcommittee

Today, the Biden administration announced decisions to limit energy resource development in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPR-A) and deny a permit for an access road to the Ambler mining district. 

"American families are struggling to keep the lights on and put fuel in their tanks, while Biden and the activists in his administration are blocking energy development in resources-rich Alaska. This decision ignores the concerns of indigenous communities, residents of Alaska, and Alaska’s entire congressional delegation. It’s a direct affront to every American struggling to make ends meet and will only benefit countries like Russia, China, Venezuela, and Iran. 

"Clearly not satisfied with just one crushing blow, the Biden administration also effectively shuttered mineral development in Alaska. Lest the president forgets, these are the same minerals needed for his own renewable energy goals, not to mention for the thousands of items we depend on for daily use. Preventing access to untapped mineral resources in the Ambler mining district simply strengthens China's grip on the mineral market and eliminates economic opportunity for many Alaskan natives and their communities. 

"House Republicans continue to deliver solutions like the Lower Energy Costs Act to unleash our vast energy reserves and do our job to support the American people, yet this administration is taking every opportunity to make life worse and more expensive. In consultation with Alaskan communities, Congressman Stauber has introduced legislation that stops the Biden administration from locking up the abundant natural resources in Alaska. I was proud to support the bill in the Natural Resources Committee and will continue to work with him and my colleagues to fight this decision and support the needs of the American people." – House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)

“From Minnesota to Alaska, President Biden has repeatedly prevented the responsible production of America’s abundance of natural resources, and his decision to block the Ambler mining road and limit energy development in the NPR-A is yet another example of his disastrous anywhere but America; any worker but American energy and mining agenda. 

“These actions by Biden are foolish as they not only eliminate opportunities and good paying jobs for Alaskans, but they also further cement our reliance on Communist China and Russia for the resources on which we all rely. At a time when our adversaries are becoming more and more hostile, the President should be doing everything in his power to boost domestic mineral and energy production, not prevent it. And how does the President expect the American people to buy into his hasty transition to electric vehicles and other so-called green energy technology when he consistently chooses to rely on China, the world’s top polluter, rather than an American workforce that can produce critical minerals safely and responsibly here at home?

“As the Chair of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, I will continue to fight for the domestic production of these essential resources by advocating for legislation like my Alaska’s Right to Produce Act. In the meantime, I join Alaska Governor Dunleavy and all Alaskans who want to grow prosperity in calling on the President to reverse these disastrous decisions.” – Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.)


Today’s decisions continue President Joe Biden's attack on Alaskan communities. On Sept. 6, 2024, DOI announced it would cancel the remaining seven oil and gas leases issued by the Trump administration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) while simultaneously locking up millions of acres in the NPR-A. The final action announced today would lock up 13 million acres out of the 23 million acres that make up the petroleum reserve. Further, the rule would create new prohibitions on leasing in the rest of the petroleum reserve. 

Oil and natural gas production in Alaska generated $3.1 billion in state and local revenue in 2019 and supported more than 77,000 direct and indirect jobs, which is about 25 percent of all jobs in the state. These revenues made up 38 percent of Alaska’s General Fund revenue in 2019 and were responsible for 90 percent of state revenues from business the same year. The state of Alaska receives 50 percent of the bonuses, rents and royalties received from oil and gas production in ANWR and the NPR-A. These funds support public projects and basic services.

Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) previously introduced H.R. 6285, the Alaska's Right to Produce Act of 2023, which would reinstate the previously issued ANWR leases as required by law and cancel the proposed NPR-A rule. The House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 6285 on Dec. 6, 2023. 

The Ambler mining district is home to one of the world’s largest deposits of minerals, including copper, cobalt and zinc – all elements fundamental for clean energy technology. The access road would have  enabled safe, reliable access to these minerals and unlocked a vast store of previously untapped resources. By denying the construction permit, the Biden administration has effectively shuttered development in this area and denied Alaskans the ability to access their own resources.

Earlier this Congress, the House also passed H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, to restore American energy independence and unleash domestic energy production.