Alaska Natives File Lawsuit Challenging Federal Overreach in Wake of SCOTUS ‘Chevron’ Ruling

Oil Drilling

Alaska Natives are fighting back against the Biden administration’s decision to shut down oil and gas development in northern Alaska, which they say is vital to the prosperity and well being of their communities. 

The Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat (VOICE), a nonprofit advocacy group for Native-American communities living on the state’s North Slope, filed a lawsuit Monday against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland over the final BLM’s final rule blocking 13 million acres in their region to oil and gas development.

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Department of Interior Shuts Down Millions of Acres of Alaska to All Oil, Gas and Mining Activity

Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

The Interior Department last Friday blocked 28 million acres of federal land in the state of Alaska from any mining or oil and gas development.

Rick Whitbeck, Alaska state director for Power The Future, said the decision on D-1 lands removes an area the size of the state of Pennsylvania from resource development, which will have severe energy impact to the nation and the state of Alaska.

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Wyoming Sues Biden Administration over Fossil Fuel Ban

Rep. Harriet Hageman

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been chipping away at the oil, gas and coal industries ever since President Joe Biden took office. Wyoming is an energy state that produces half the nation’s coal, as well as part of its oil and gas output. Since the federal government owns nearly half the state’s land, virtually all oil, gas and coal operations in the Cowboy State are heavily impacted by every rule the BLM throws at fossil fuels.

Although the Biden administration is waging war on fossil fuels, Wyoming is fighting back. The state, along with Utah, filed a lawsuit against the agency last Tuesday over its restoration lease program, and Rep. Harriett Hageman, R-Wyo., is rolling out legislation to fight back against the BLM’s proposed ban on federal coal leases.

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Biden Admin Looks to Move Proposed Wind Farm Away from WW2 Memorial After Local Backlash

Minidoka National Historic Site

The Biden administration is looking to shrink and move a proposed onshore wind project in Idaho after receiving considerable pushback from local residents, according to The Associated Press.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently published its final environmental review for Idaho’s Lava Ridge wind project, specifying its preference to see the project scaled down by nearly 50 percent and moved several more miles away from a World War II memorial dedicated to interned Japanese-Americans in the area, according to the AP. The project has drawn intense opposition from locals, in large part because of concern that its presence would undermine the experience for those visiting the memorial site, known as the Minidoka National Historic Site.

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Critics Blast Biden Administration’s New ‘Conservation Leases,’ Which They Say are Illegal

Kathleen Sgamma

The Biden administration Friday rolled out three decisions aimed at greatly restricting oil and gas drilling, as well as mining activities needed for renewable energy, on public land.

The decisions include shutting down the Ambler Access Road project, which would have opened up part of Alaska to mining needed for renewable energy, and blocking oil and gas drilling on up to 13 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

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Biden Admin Shuts Down Future Oil and Gas Activity on Thousands of Acres

The Biden administration announced Monday that it has moved to shut down future oil, gas and mining activity on thousands of acres of New Mexico land for the next 50 years.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a sub-agency of the Department of the Interior (DOI), issued the Monday proposal to block new oil, gas and mineral extraction activity on 4,000 acres of land in Sandoval County, New Mexico, according to a DOI press release. The proposal is motivated by the agency’s desire to safeguard tribal cultures and recreational activity in the area, and the policy would last for 50 years if finalized.

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Biden Admin Proposes New Rule to Jack Up Prices for Oil and Gas Leases

The Biden administration unveiled a new oil and gas leasing rule proposal Thursday that would jack up prices at nearly every stage of the public land leasing process.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a subagency of the Department of the Interior (DOI), issued the rule proposal Thursday in an effort to adopt a “more transparent, inclusive and just approach” to federal oil and gas leasing on public lands and “[provide] a fair return to taxpayers,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Laura Daniel-Davis said, according to a Thursday DOI press release. The rule nominally aims to boost land conservation efforts, but it would do so by massively increasing minimum bid thresholds and required per-acre fees for energy interests and developers to pay.

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Eco Activists Sue to Stop U.S. Oil and Gas Lease Sales

Environmental groups sued the Interior Department Tuesday to challenge the first oil and gas lease sale on public lands during the Biden administration.

A coalition of environmental groups led by Dakota Resource Council filed a lawsuit in in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that the sales violate the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which requires that the Interior Department prevent “unnecessary or undue degradation” of public lands.

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Watchdog Demands Inspector General Investigation into Tracy Stone-Manning’s Allegedly False Statements About Eco-Terrorism Case

A government watchdog group demanded that the Department of the Interior Inspector General launch an investigation into whether President Joe Biden’s Senate-confirmed Bureau of Land Management director nominee violated the False Statement Act with statements she made to Congress about her involvement in a 1989 eco-terrorism case during her confirmation process.

Tracy Stone-Manning was confirmed to lead the agency along a party-line vote on Sept. 30 amid strong opposition from Republicans who accused her of lying to the Senate Energy Committee about her involvement in an eco-terrorism case. Stone-Manning testified in federal court in 1993 that she sent an anonymous, threatening letter to the Forest Service in 1989 on behalf of her former roommate and friend which warned that a local forest in Idaho had been sabotaged with tree spikes to make the trees unsafe to log.

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Senate Confirms Alleged Eco-Terrorist Collaborator to Lead Bureau of Land Management

The Senate vote 50-45 on a party-line vote Thursday to confirm President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Land Management nominee amid strong opposition from Republicans and former Obama administration officials over the nominee’s involvement in a 1989 eco-terrorism incident.

The nominee, Tracy Stone-Manning, failed to win a single Republican vote amid accusations she lied to the Senate Energy Committee over her involvement in the 1989 Clearwater National Forest tree-spiking case. All 48 Senate Democrats and the two independent senators who caucus with the party voted in favor of Stone-Manning’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which oversees 245 million acres of public lands.

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Wisconsin Rep. Tiffany Opposes Pick for Director of Bureau of Land Management

Wisconsin Rep. Tiffany (R-WI-07) tweeted out that he opposes the pick for the Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Tiffany said that Tracy Stone-Manning’s “history of eco-terrorism makes her unfit to lead our nation’s largest federal land agency.”

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Judge Blocks Massive Alaskan Oil Drilling Project Backed by Trump and Biden

A federal judge blocked a massive Alaskan oil drilling project Wednesday after ruling that the Interior Department inadequately measured its environmental impact.

Judge Sharon Gleason of the U.S. District Court of the District of Alaska wrote in her opinion that the Bureau of Land Management’s assessment of the ConocoPhillips’ Willow project was “arbitrary and capricious,” noting that it did not even include the likely level of greenhouse gas emissions in its environmental impact report.

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