Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland is unhappy that the Biden caliphate overruled her and is allowing the ConocoPhillips Willow Project, a modest oil field in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska to continue.
Haaland supports no drilling for oil anywhere at any time. She is very angry that her decision was not allowed to stand.
Even angrier that it came from her own party. But, she is unable to seek revenge against them, so she decided to allow Alaskans living in a town of less than 1,000 to die instead.
Haaland found it difficult while speaking with a room of Alaska Natives from the radical side of the spectrum to say that the oil project would be moving forward while speaking to a group of Alaskans who oppose all drilling permits.
She could not tell them that the decision was removed from her because Biden could not afford to continue to kill energy projects in perpetuity. That would be political suicide.
The choice, it seems, had been taken out of her hands and was made by election strategists in the Oval Office, because Haaland could not be trusted to take the correct political action. The White House is especially sensitive to the election cycle ahead and propping up Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska, who is somewhat of an electorally endangered politician in this still-red state.
Haaland, however, is sympathetic to a village of Alaska Natives who oppose the NPR-A project, while nearly all other Alaskans of all stripes support responsible oil development.
President Joe Biden stated during his 2020 campaign that he would put an end to oil. Then-Rep. Haaland was in agreement with that, so long as future curbs on hydrocarbons do not impact her home state of New Mexico’s relatively new position as the No. 2 producer of oil in America, after Texas.
While she has remade the Interior Department into a parks-and-rec agency, New Mexico has a carve out. It now produces 1.7 million barrels per day of oil, and in 2021 produced 2,237 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Haaland’s actions show she prefers Alaska oil remains locked down. With her hand forced on Willow, Haaland announced her agency would not only reduce the scope of the project by 40%, it would take another 16 million acres of Alaska off the table for any future development. Haaland is taking the equivalent of West Virginia.
The day after the Willow decision, Haaland instituted a land grab that endangers the lives of 875 people living in King Cove, Alaska.
The remote village did not have a road leading to the city where the closest hospital was located. In order to get someone there, they had to drive away from the hospital to an all-weather airport and then flown from there to the medical facility.
Between the village and the hospital lay the Izembek Wildlife Refuge. Everyone had played kick the can until Donald Trump became president and a land swap was instituted that would allow the village to build a narrow gravel road to the city, cutting travel time by well over an hour.
Now, Haaland has grabbed back that tiny portion of land that puts the lives of residents in medical emergencies in danger. Often it can be a fatal delay, but no one in the party that kills over a million babies a year will even notice the additional blood from the residents of King Cove.
As Haaland has said, “Let them eat cake and drink bleach.”