Biden Admin Announces Restrictions On Oil Drilling

The Biden administration announced that it was restricting millions of acres from potential oil drilling, following a series of other restrictions since President Joe Biden took office in 2021. The decision came amid concerns about the future of American energy policy and promises by former President Donald Trump to promote energy independence.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that more than 13 million acres in Alaska would have restrictions for gas and oil drilling.

The DOI said that following “significant engagement with the public, Alaska Native Tribes, and Alaska Native Corporations, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized the Management and Protection of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) rule that will ensure maximum protection for significant resource values on the more than 13 million acres of Special Areas in the western Arctic while supporting subsistence uses and needs for Alaska Native communities.”

Since taking office in 2021 the president has removed significant lands from potential oil and natural gas drilling. This includes more than 41 million acres on land and sea now barred from future extraction.

While the move was lauded by members of the Biden administration, Republicans criticized the move. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said that the country’s “adversaries are celebrating the Biden administration’s sanctions against America’s energy & critical mineral production.”

“No wonder authoritarians are on the march,” Sullivan wrote on social media.

“It’s more than a one-two punch to Alaska,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), “because when you take off access to our resources, when you say you cannot drill, you cannot produce, you cannot explore, you cannot move it — this is the energy insecurity that we’re talking about.”

On the campaign trail, the former president argued that his policies were better for American consumers. During his time in office gas prices reached lower levels than today. This included a period during the pandemic where gas prices fell to about $1.75 per gallon and oil contracts temporarily turned negative.