WASHINGTON â€” President Barack Obama does everything he can to limit American gas and oil production but likes to take credit for any increase.
And he’s at it again.
The administration plans to designate the area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, the highest level of federal protection under which oil and gas drilling is banned, it said in a statement.
The Washington Post said earlier that the Interior Department would also place part of the Arctic Ocean off limits to drilling and is considering more restrictions on oil and gas production in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
The Obama administration will propose setting aside more than 12 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Â (ANWR) asÂ wilderness, including 1.5 million acres of coastal plain, the White House announced Sunday, in a move that will spark a fierce battle with the new Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman, U.S. SenatorÂ Lisa Murkowski,Â and other Alaska Republicans, the newspaper said.
The new areas proposed for wilderness designationÂ will include 1.52 million acresÂ of ANWRâ€™s coastal plain, 5.85 million acres of the Brooks mountain range, and 4.92 million acres of the Porcupine Plateau.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the coastal plain holds 10.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
â€œAlaskaâ€™s National Wildlife refuge is an incredible place â€” pristine, undisturbed. It supports caribou and polar bears, all manner of marine life, countless species of birds and fish, and for centuries it supported many Alaska native communities. But itâ€™s very fragile,â€ said Obama in aÂ just released White House videoÂ on the move.
Congress needs to OK any wilderness designation, but the Interior Department will start managing the area under that level of protection immediately, the newspaper reported.
Murkowski was angry about the administrationâ€™s move, which she called an attack on Alaska. On Friday, she had introduced a bill that would have permitted oil production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
â€œWe will fight back with every resource at our disposal.”
â€”U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
â€œItâ€™s clear this administration does not care about us, and sees us as nothing but a territory. The promises made to us at statehood, and since then, mean absolutely nothing to them. I cannot understand why this administration is willing to negotiate with Iran, but not Alaska,â€ Murkowski said in a statement on Sunday.
â€œWe will fight back with every resource at our disposal,â€ she said.
This latest Obama plan is another example of how Congress has ceded so much power to the executive branch agencies that arenâ€™t responsible directly to the public. It is also an example of how 10th Amendment state sovereignty and the federalist model has been overridden.
As with the Keystone Pipeline, one man has been given control of the mineral resources that belong to the whole people. And now we have a president who takes advantage of any power given to him and, in the case of executive amnesty for illegal aliens, power that is not given to him.
And he can reward his friends, the Middle East Arabs, by limiting U.S. gas and oil production.