Sen. Sullivan Slams Biden's Alaska Oil and Mining Restrictions as 'National Security Suicide'

Biden admin's restrictions on Alaska oil/mining spark backlash from GOP senator, who accuses them of "national security suicide" and silencing indigenous voices.

author-image
Waqas Arain
Updated On
New Update
Sen. Sullivan Slams Biden's Alaska Oil and Mining Restrictions as 'National Security Suicide'

Sen. Sullivan Slams Biden's Alaska Oil and Mining Restrictions as 'National Security Suicide'

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) sharply criticized the Biden administration's decision to restrict oil drilling and mining in Alaska, calling it "national security suicide." The Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management advised against building the Ambler Road and removed millions of acres from consideration for new oil and gas leasing.

Sullivan accused the Biden administration of being "lawless" and "singularly focused on Alaska to shut our state down," while not enforcing sanctions against some of America's top adversaries. He claimed that the administration lied about the indigenous people of Alaska supporting the decision, stating that the leaders of the North Slope of Alaska were unanimously opposed to it and that the administration "canceled their voices and now stealing their voices."

The Biden administration finalized a rule to freeze new fossil fuel leases on nearly half of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, which Sullivan called "lawless" and a "lie" about the indigenous population's desires. The administration also moved to roll back a Trump-approved Ambler road construction project that would have provided access to a proposed copper and zinc mine.

The Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management officially advised against building the Ambler Road, a proposed 211-mile road that would have expanded mining operations in the state. The move was praised by environmental and conservation groups but criticized by Sullivan and others who argued the president overstepped his authority.

Why this matters: The Biden administration's restrictions on oil drilling and mining in Alaska have significant implications for the state's economy, energy production, and access to critical minerals. The decision has sparked a heated debate about balancing environmental conservation with resource development and the rights of indigenous communities.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet secretary, said the Biden administration's Alaska conservation plan would "underscore our commitment to ensure that places too special to develop remain intact for the communities and species that rely on them." However, Sullivan claimed that Alaskan Natives tried to meet with Haaland but she refused, and that the president was "canceling their voices and now stealing their voices," which Sullivan described as a "despicable move." The Biden administration has taken steps to limit oil and gas drilling and mining in Alaska, pleasing environmentalists but angering state officials who argue the restrictions will cost jobs and make the U.S. reliant on foreign resources.

Key Takeaways

  • Sen. Sullivan criticized Biden admin's restrictions on Alaska oil/mining as "national security suicide"
  • Biden admin froze new fossil fuel leases, halted Ambler road project, citing environmental concerns
  • Sullivan accused Biden of "lawlessness" and ignoring indigenous Alaskans' opposition to the decisions
  • Restrictions have significant economic implications for Alaska, sparking debate on environment vs. development
  • Interior Sec. Haaland said the plan aims to protect special places, but Sullivan claimed Alaskans were ignored