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Biden’s Interior Secretary Haaland blocks drilling leases in Alaska

When Joe Biden took office on January 20th, one of his first actions was to sign an executive order issuing a moratorium on new federal drilling permits for oil and gas exploration. This was done despite Biden’s continual statements – or perhaps we should just say lies – on the campaign trail, assuring voters that he wasn’t going to be banning fracking or otherwise creating significant damage to the nation’s burgeoning oil and gas industry. The moratorium was allegedly “temporary,” giving the White House time to reexamine various leasing agreements for “legal flaws.”

The word “temporary” is clearly going to be doing some heavy lifting in the months or years to come. As of yesterday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed an order suspending all oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, located in the northeastern reaches of Alaska. Environmentalists have been trying to halt oil exploration there for decades, warning of the possible damage to various forms of wildlife and their habitats. Climate alarmists oppose these operations because, well… they hate oil. Now both groups appear to be having their wishes granted. (Associated Press)

The Biden administration on Tuesday suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, reversing a drilling program approved by the Trump administration and reviving a political fight over a remote region that is home to polar bears and other wildlife — and a rich reserve of oil.

The order by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland follows a temporary moratorium on oil and gas lease activities imposed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office. Biden’s Jan. 20 executive order suggested a new environmental review was needed to address possible legal flaws in a drilling program approved by the Trump administration under a 2017 law enacted by Congress.

Huh. I guess they must have found some significant “legal flaws” in the agreements signed during the Trump administration, eh? But what were those legal flaws? Haaland’s statement claims that they “identified defects in the underlying record of decision supporting the leases, including the lack of analysis of a reasonable range of alternatives.″ If that sounds to you like a heaping bowl full of vague word salad, trust me… you’re not alone.

Environmental groups were quick to praise the decision by the Biden administration while also calling for further congressional action to make the ban permanent. Meanwhile, among the people who actually live in the state, the reaction was quite different. Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski signed on to a joint statement with Governor Mike Dunleavy and Congressman Don Young blasting the decision. Murkowski called it “outrageous but expected.”

The current leases that are being suspended were all approved in December and January before Biden took office. Dunleavy said that the previously approved leases are valid and “cannot be taken away by the federal government.” I’m sure Joe Biden begs to differ.

So the current plan is to begin cutting back our ability to develop oil resources on American soil after the United States finally became a global leader in energy production over the past four years. Does Joe Biden have a plan to make up for that reduced production? Apparently, he does, because we’re now reportedly importing more oil… from Iran.

The United States imported a rare cargo of 1.033 million barrels of Iranian crude in March despite sanctions on Iran’s energy sector, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed.

The cargo is only the second oil import by the United States from Iran since late 1991, data on EIA’s website showed.

Excuse me, but isn’t Iran still under massive sanctions in terms of exporting their oil? Or is that not a thing anymore because Joe Biden is trying to get them back to the table for the Iran nuclear talks? And where are the cries of protests from the climate crowd over this? Is oil only bad when we extract it ourselves but it’s fine and dandy if a terrorist nation like Iran drills for it? You really can’t make this stuff up. I have to wonder whether voters in states like Pennsylvania that rely heavily on oil and gas industry jobs are feeling any buyer’s remorse yet.