Trump Admin Steps Up Pace On First Oil Lease Sale In Alaskan Arctic, Enviros Cry Foul

From The Daily Caller

Chris White | Energy Reporter

The Department of the Interior is fast-tracking plans to sell oil leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Reuters reported Friday.

“That lease sale will happen in 2019,” Joe Balash, the assistant interior secretary for Land and Minerals Management, said before an oil industry conference Thursday in Alaska.

The vast area, home to caribou and polar bears, was off-limits to oil and gas drilling until 2017, when lawmakers moved to mandate drilling in the Arctic.

The mandate requires DOI to hold a lease sale within four years, offering over 400,000 acres of the coastal plain of ANWR for development. The agency issued an environmental impact statement in 2018 and will follow up with a final report by August, Balash said. A lease sale will follow soon thereafter, he added.

Environmentalists are criticizing the administration’s break-neck pace.

“If they really stick with that timeline, then they’re likely going to be violating several environmental laws,” Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, told Reuters. (RELATED: Trump Administration Shelves Plan To Dramatically Expand Offshore Drilling)

Offshore drilling in the Arctic was a key element of President Donald Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda, which aims to dramatically boost oil and gas production. Interior officials began crafting a replacement to the Obama administration’s five-year plan for offshore drilling during the early part of Trump’s second year.

The administration’s plan, released in early 2018, proposed the largest number of offshore lease sales ever, opening 90% of the outer continental shelf acreage to energy exploration covering 98% of recoverable oil and gas resources. U.S. offshore areas are estimated to hold 90 billion barrels of oil and 127 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to official estimates.

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26 thoughts on “Trump Admin Steps Up Pace On First Oil Lease Sale In Alaskan Arctic, Enviros Cry Foul

  1. Keep going President Trump! Stay on offense and keep the pro-American support of energy independence moving strongly forward!

      • A slight change to the song in “Mary Poppins” from Feed the Birds to Feed the Bears, might encourage more to rush North and so two problems are solved in one go.
        What to do with all the green loons and how to feed the bears.

        James Bull

    • I will sincerely support such a “demonstration” by the Greenbeans, just to find out how truly dedicated they truly are. The cold wind coming out of the north polar regions in the winter is really, really nasty. And there’s no sunshine, either. 🙂

    • They’ll be wearing all their petroleum-derived and delivered cold weather gear, you can bet on that.

  2. It always makes me laugh when the greenalists here in the UK drone on about America’s support for the Middle East being only sothat they can get their grubby mits on the oil! I did some research online several years ago to discover that America only gets 12% tops of its oil from there!!! Having said that, if the Democrats hadn’t forced through a moratorium on homeland oil/gas exploration, they wouldn’t need the Middle East or anywhere else for that matter!!!

    • So true. If one actually researches, one finds the whole “Middle Eastern oil” mantra was nothing but a lie from the beginning. They never were our major source, ever. However, the lie was obviously politically expedient for decades and still is.

    • Per DOE EIA data, last week the US imported 800,000 bbl/day net of crude. This is <5% of the total 17 million bbl/day sent to refineries. The US imports the vast amount from Canada and Mexico with significant amounts from Venezuela, Columbia and lesser amounts from other near neighbors. 6% comes from Saudi Arabia and 5% from Iraq and Kuwait each. But exports nearly balance imports, so the net is just 800,000 bbl/day.

      Production approaches 12 MM bbl/day without including the nearly 4 MM bbl/day of natural gas liquids which also contribute to the total. So the US is nearly neutral in overall crude balance. Quite a feat from only 10 years ago.

      And this has nothing to do with Berry's efforts to produce renewable energy.

  3. But as I understand it at some point in the 1920 tees to the 1930 tees the
    Middle East oil was either owned, or controlled by a combination of the
    British Royal Dutch and the USA Shell. Then these assets were
    Naturalised by the leaders of these countries.

    MJE VK5ELL

  4. We need to escape the environmentalists mantra that any given location on the earths surface is off-limits for human activity because….., just because environmentalists say so. Because they say it, or them, is just a bit “sensitive”.

    The concept is flawed from the outset. It always depends on exactly what we do. Always. Everywhere.

    They have the same line of thinking about nuclear power, insisting that it is always too bad to contemplate, no matter how hard we try to improve it.

  5. “The vast area, home to caribou and polar bears, was off-limits to oil and gas drilling until 2017, when lawmakers moved to mandate drilling in the Arctic.”

    It wasn’t “off-limits”, the enviros refused to follow the rules allowing exploration and development.
    Nobody has “mandated” drilling. They are allowing drilling. Big difference, however since liberals think in terms of force and mandates, it’s natural for them to get the two confused.

  6. As pointed out in David Middleton’s 2017 rebuttal article (ridiculing the Greenies for opposing North Slope production), another significant reason to develop more oil supplies on the North Slope is to maintain flow in the TransAlaska Pipeline. Without continuous flow at minimal rates, it ceases to be a useable pipeline

  7. “The vast area, home to caribou and polar bears”…..

    Utterly false. Parts of the area are home to caribou and bears, but not the areas proposed for drilling. The proposed area is a vast tundra, inhabited mainly by mosquitos the size of sparrows. Not to mention, the area of the original Alaska pipeline from decades ago was indeed home to caribou. It was built, and the caribou hardly noticed. This is like saying no to drilling within Los Angeles city limits, because Yosemite is “home to bears”.

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