Pro-Energy Worker Legislation Alerts from Alaska!

Pro-Energy Worker Legislation Alerts from Alaska!

March 10, 2021

Two pieces of legislation deserve to be highlighted today, as each takes a strong stand for jobs and responsible development.

Introduced on March 9th by Alaska’s Congressman Don Young, the America Needs Worthwhile Resources (ANWR) Act pushes back against recent executive orders by the Biden Administration that killed thousands of current jobs and threaten tens of thousands more.  The Act would prohibit the President from issuing future leasing moratoriums without Congressional approval.

In the press release announcing the Act, Congressman Young noted:

It is not surprising, though no less disappointing, that President Biden is continuing Obama-era attacks against Alaska. By placing a moratorium on energy development in ANWR, President Biden has surrendered to his party’s environmental extremists. Very frankly, no president should have this unilateral power.

Today, I am proud to introduce the ANWR Act, which reigns in executive overreach, and puts power back into the hands of the people through their elected representatives. I want the President to know this: Alaskans have shown for decades that energy development and environmental protection can go hand in hand. His executive actions serve only to hinder our state’s economy, stifle energy independence, and prevent the Alaska Native community of Kaktovik from responsibly using their lands.

When President Carter signed ANILCA into law over 40 years ago, Alaskans were promised the right to drill on the Coastal Plain, and it is time to make good on this commitment. We have conducted an extensive environmental review and successfully carried out lease sales; everything has been done by the book and in accordance with the law. This is not the time to roll back our progress in ANWR, especially amid an economic downturn caused by a global pandemic.

With “leave-it-in-the-ground”, extremist Democrats in charge of both chambers of Congress, the Act is sure to face stiff opposition.  Still, it is fantastic that Congressman Young continues to support jobs with the Act.

In Juneau, Representative George Rauscher (R-Sutton) has a hearing today on his “Endorsing ANWR Leasing” resolution, HJR 12. 

The resolution’s action items would:

  • Urge the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, to honor the recent lease sales and proceed with permitting in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;
  • Urge the President of the United States to defend the 2020 Record of Decision approving the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;
  • Oppose designation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a National Monument; and
  • Urge the Alaska delegation in Congress to uphold sec. 20001 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which opened the 1002 section of ANWR to responsible development.

Raucher’s legislation has already attracted 22 bi-partisan co-sponsors, making it likely to pass the House should it reach the floor. 

Today’s hearing in the House Resources Committee (1:00PM start time) is sure to bring out testimony from both sides of the debate over ANWR development.  In fact, the Northern Alaska Environmental Center sent out an email on Tuesday, urging their supporters to testify against the resolution.  Using the same, tired, feelings-over-facts narrative they’ve spouted for the past 40 years is nearly certain to fall on deaf ears, since Alaskans – by nearly a 70%/30% margin – support drilling in the refuge historically.

Kudos to both Congressman Young and Representative Rauscher for taking the fight to the eco-extremists, and protecting potential jobs in the Great Land.