Fri. May 31st, 2024

Biden Cuts Venezuela Some Slack, Slams Brakes on Rare Earth Mining in Alaska

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts May23,2024 #finance

The Inflation Reduction Act was supposed to increase permitting in the US. As the election nears, Biden is blocking oil drilling and mining in the Alaska.

About Those Sanctions on Venezuela and Iran

The Wall Street Journal comments Biden Piles Sanctions on Alaska

Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan likes to quip that the Biden Administration has imposed more sanctions on Alaska than he has on Iran. He has a point. On Friday the Administration further restricted oil, gas and critical mineral development in the Last Frontier State.

The Interior Department blocked new oil and gas leasing on 13.3 million acres in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. Congress expressly set aside the region in 1923 for oil and gas development, but the Administration ignores this and says drilling would disturb the Arctic’s “natural wonders.” Yet energy development and environmental protection aren’t mutually exclusive.

Interior on Friday also denied a permit for a 211-mile road necessary to develop the Ambler Mining District, which is one of the world’s richest deposits of copper, cobalt, gallium, germanium and other critical minerals. The Trump Administration granted the permit, but Biden officials used a lawsuit by green groups to reconsider and veto the project.

The Administration is heavily subsidizing chip-making factories, supposedly to bolster national security and U.S. manufacturing. Yet now Mr. Biden is effectively shutting down one of the country’s biggest critical mineral deposits that would do both.

As Democratic Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola notes, “Alaska has a wealth of natural resources that can be responsibly developed to help boost domestic manufacturing and innovation.” Yet, she says, the Administration is “steamrolling the voices of many Alaska Natives” and “failing to strike a balance between the need for gap oil and natural gas and legitimate environmental concerns.”

All of this punishment for Alaska comes as the Administration eases sanctions on Venezuelan oil production and fails to enforce oil sanctions on Iran. Meantime, the Russians and Chinese are increasing investment in Arctic oil, gas and mineral development. If Alaska were a dictatorship hostile to U.S. interests, it would get better treatment. Alas, it’s merely a U.S. state that doesn’t vote for Joe Biden.

Told Ya So Joe

On March 30, 2023, I commented Senator Joe Manchin Feels Betrayed by President Biden, Told Ya So Joe

Senator Manchin: When President Biden and I spoke before Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act last summer, we agreed that the bill was designed to pay down our national debt and shore up America’s energy security. It was designed to generate $738 billion in new revenue, with more than $238 billion dedicated to debt reduction, the first serious piece of legislation in more than two decades that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would have done that.

Yet instead of implementing the law as intended, unelected ideologues, bureaucrats and appointees seem determined to violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and fiscal security. Specifically, they are ignoring the law’s intent to support and expand fossil energy and are redefining “domestic energy” to increase clean-energy spending to potentially deficit-breaking levels. The administration is attempting at every turn to implement the bill it wanted, not the bill Congress actually passed. Ignoring the debt and deficit implications of these actions as the time nears to raise the debt ceiling isn’t only wrong, it’s policy and political malpractice.

Bait and Switch

At the time, I commented “This railroad bait-and-switch job was easy to predict.”

The most galling aspect of the bait and switch is a desperate need for rare earth minerals including gallium and germanium.

Critical Materials Risk Assessment by the US Department of Energy

Please consider a Critical Materials Risk Assessment by the US Department of Energy

Our own Department of Energy has placed some of the rare earth minerals we need for weapons systems, windmills, batteries, and aircraft on a critical materials list.

Nearly all of them are mined or refined in China. Yet Biden just blocked production in the US. See the previous link for discussion.

Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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2 thoughts on “Biden Cuts Venezuela Some Slack, Slams Brakes on Rare Earth Mining in Alaska”
  1. Is it wise for the Biden Administration to restrict oil drilling and mining in Alaska given the potential impacts on the local economy and national security?

    1. It may seem like a bold move, but prioritizing environmental protection over immediate economic gain can lead to sustainable long-term benefits for both the local economy and national security. By finding a balance between resource extraction and conservation, the Biden Administration is aiming to protect Alaska’s natural treasures for future generations.

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