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Biden Administration Disregards Congress, Attempts to Cancel ANWR Leases

Sep 6, 2023

Today the Biden Administration announced that it is cancelling legally-issued leases for oil and gas in the section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge designated for oil and gas development.

The Secretary of the Department of the Interior has the authority to cancel oil and gas leases issued in violation of statute or regulation, but there is no such violation in the ANWR leases. The leases that the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority hold were issued properly as mandated by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The Biden Administration has also proposed new regulations for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska – an area initially created by Congress to provide a source of oil for the U.S. Navy and later congressionally designated for oil and gas development – that prohibits oil and gas development.

“The leases AIDEA hold in ANWR were legally issued in a sale mandated by Congress. It’s clear that President Biden needs a refresher on the Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine. Federal agencies don’t get to rewrite laws, and that is exactly what the Department of the Interior is trying to do here,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “We will fight for Alaska’s right to develop its own resources and will be turning to the courts to correct the Biden Administration’s wrong.”