Alaska Governor Hopeful for Trump 2024 Victory to Boost State’s Natural Resource Industries

Alaska Governor Hopeful for Trump 2024 Victory to Boost State’s Natural Resource Industries

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‘When it came to any type of resource development, the Trump administration was way, way, way ahead.’

Republican Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is hopeful for former President Donald Trump’s return to the White House in 2024, predicting it will bolster key parts of Alaska’s economy, including fossil fuel extraction, mining, and timber.

Speaking with NTD’s “Capitol Report” Mr. Dunleavy said President Joe Biden’s impact on Alaska’s natural resource industries has been “brutal,” calling it a “night and day” difference compared to the Trump administration.

“You couldn’t have a more different administration,” Mr. Dunleavy said. “Under President Trump, every opportunity was looked at. We met with the president at least nine times. When he flew to Alaska here, we would go on Air Force One and we‘d sit down, and we’d actually talk about things that Alaska needs. I mean, the president would always say to me, ‘Mike, what does Alaska need? What do you guys want?’”

Under President Trump, the federal government approved new oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a policy decision Mr. Dunleavy said “was a dream for Alaskans.” The Trump administration also opened more areas of the Tongass National Forest to mining and logging.

“When it came to any type of resource development, the Trump administration was way, way, way ahead of the Biden administration,” the governor said.

By contrast, he said, the Biden administration has taken more than 50 measures to reverse the direction of Alaska’s resource industries. In his first day in office, President Biden placed a moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities in the ANWR and canceled drilling leases in the wildlife refuge altogether in September. The Biden administration also reversed the Trump-era decisions permitting mining and logging in the Tongass National Forest.

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Mr. Dunleavy said Alaska is still awaiting permission on a new gas line project.

“We’ll see if that that works,” he said. “But [the] long and short of it, it’s been a battle for fossil fuels and mining, as well as timber here in Alaska.”

Biden’s Environmental Agenda

President Biden made the environment a key component of his 2020 campaign. His platform included a $1.7 trillion proposal that largely aligned with the Green New Deal and included funding for clean energy and “environmental justice” efforts. He also called during his campaign for a global moratorium on arctic drilling.

“Protecting the Tongass National Forest is an important step in recognizing the role of our forests in fighting the biodiversity and climate crises,” Patrick Lavin, Alaska policy adviser at Defenders of Wildlife, said as the Biden administration’s decision suspended logging in the Tongass last year.

The indigenous Gwich’in nation’s steering committee had opposed drilling in the ANWR as a threat to caribou calving grounds. Several other environmental and indigenous groups joined in opposition to drilling in the ANWR.

“We are thrilled to see the Biden administration’s decision to cancel [Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s] leases and re-examine the coastal plain leasing program,” Emily Sullivan, communications director for the Northern Alaska Environmental Center, said of the Biden administration’s decision to cancel the ANWR drilling leases in September. “Today’s announcement is a huge win for Indigenous rights and the Arctic ecosystem—while we still have work ahead of us to protect this vital landscape, we are confident that canceling these illegal leases has set us on the right track.”
While the Biden administration’s decision reversing resource extraction in the ANWR and Tongass earned praise from environmental activists, he received pushback from environmental activists last March when he approved a scaled-down version of the Willow Project, a proposal for a new oil field within the federally-managed National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).

“For all the talk of ‘scaling back,’ this decision green-lights 92 percent of proposed oil drilling and hands over one the most fragile, intact ecosystems in the world to ConocoPhillips. This is not climate leadership,” Earthjustice President Abby Dillen said of decision to approve the scaled-down Willow Project proposal.

Trump Says ‘Drill Baby Drill’ After Iowa Win

President Trump has repeatedly said he plans to quickly expand oil drilling if he returns to office. Addressing his supporters after winning the first Republican primary contest in Iowa on Monday, the 45th president reiterated his day-one priorities if he returns to office.

“We’re going to come together. We’re going to drill, baby, drill, right away. We’re going to seal up the border, because right now we have an invasion,” President Trump said.

Responding to those remarks after President Trump’s Iowa caucus victory, Mr. Dunleavy said, “I’m 110 percent, obviously, behind President Trump on this issue.”

“Energy is key to modern civilization across this world, energy is key to America’s dominance, energy is key to America’s national security … it’s part of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s part of the medical industry. It’s part of agriculture in terms of fertilizer,” Mr. Dunleavy said. “If we have abundant amounts of oil, gas, and other fuels, America will remain on top, our cost of living will go down, our standard of living will go up.”

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