Haaland’s Parting Gift to Alaska? Locking Up the State’s National Petroleum Reserve

Haaland’s Parting Gift to Alaska? Locking Up the State’s National Petroleum Reserve

April 26, 2022

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland made her long-promised trip to Alaska last week, crisscrossing the state and meeting with Native groups, Industry and labor representatives, environmental zealots and government officials.  From talking with a few of those who met with her, she said little, promised less and seemed engaged for the most part.

She promised to have an open mind as she reviews the King Cove-to-Cold Bay road; a single-lane connector between communities that both villages want for its life-saving potential, but environmentalists despise. The road, which is a priority of U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (and Congressman Don Young, before his passing), has been under consideration for over a decade, and due to be either approved or rejected by Interior in the coming weeks.

But once the Secretary had left Alaska, word quickly spread that her ‘parting gift’ to the Great Land was going to be brutal and ill-received by those seeking to responsibly develop Alaska’s resource wealth.

Monday, Interior, through the BLM, announced that it was reversing Trump-era rulings opening up additional acreage in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A) and making seven million acres that were previously available for development off-limits.

Let’s forget for a moment that we are facing a national oil and gas supply issue.  Let’s forget that the NPR-A is part of the nation’s petroleum reserves – set aside by Congress years ago for exactly the purpose of development.  Let’s forget that some of the recent discoveries in the NPR-A number in the hundred-thousand-barrels-a-day range.

Haaland’s department just killed the opportunity for hundreds, if not thousands, of Alaskans to work to feed America’s energy needs, as well as put food on their families’ tables.  By locking up lands with some of the highest possible potential, she once again sided with the environmental radicals who care little about Alaska’s families; only in keeping Alaska free from development at any cost.

Let’s hope Secretary Haaland listened more to rational, real Alaskans rather than the infinitely small percentage who want to lock up our state.  Her first action after leaving makes us think – as we wrote about prior to her visit – that the trip was more for show than substance.