January 20, 2021 (Juneau, AK) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy issued a statement on today’s decision of incoming President Joe Biden to halt oil and gas activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The decision follows the historic lease sale held on January 6, 2021.
Today’s announcement to shut down development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) should come as no surprise. As a candidate, Joe Biden campaigned on stopping oil and gas development on federal lands. Make no mistake about it, President Biden appears to be making good on his promise to turn Alaska into a large national park.
Alaska does responsible oil and gas development in the Arctic better than anyone, and yet our economic future is at risk should this line of attack on our sovereignty and well-being continue. Development in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, building roads to resources, the mining of critical minerals & rare earths, connection to life saving air transport for villagers in King Cove and more are all in the hands of an Administration that looks at Alaska as a territory or colony, as opposed to an equal State in the Union.
During the 20 years I spent in rural Alaska, I saw firsthand the pain we cause when we deny our fellow Alaskans the right to pursue opportunity. Not only do these projects have the potential to responsibly develop Alaska’s abundant natural resources – of which there is a demand that would be driven to countries with lower environmental standards – these projects bring good-paying jobs, quality healthcare, and lifechanging possibilities to communities who need it most.
I’m prepared to use every resource available to fight for Alaskans right to have a job, and have a future by taking advantage of every opportunity available to us.