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In letter, Senate Republicans call on Biden to change energy policies

In a recent letter to President Joe Biden, Sen. Dan Sullivan and other Republicans asked for changes to what they say are failing energy policies.
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 6:53 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - In a recent letter to President Joe Biden, Sen. Dan Sullivan and other Republicans asked for changes to what they say are failing energy policies. In their letter, Sullivan and other senators discussed specific actions they’d like to see the Biden administration do to increase domestic energy production in an attempt to lower skyrocketing energy prices.

Key points from the letter include requests for the president to:

  • Rescinding the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline, which according to Sullivan cost Americans 10,000 jobs
  • Commit to fast tracking energy production on federal lands, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska
  • Expedite permitting for critical mineral mining, especially Alaska’s Ambler Road Project

In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sullivan said he feels America needs to be less dependent on foreign energy supplies. Members of Congress like Sullivan say there’s room for expanding all energy sources, but they say the world is in peril right now and opening up America’s oil and gas deposits would help U.S consumers and increase domestic energy security.

“If we need these resources, which we do, we will be needing these for decades to come,” Sullivan said. “We should be producing them in our country with our great American workers and our high environmental standards. This makes complete sense from an economic security perspective and a national security perspective and if we don’t do it, we’re going to be having to rely on and beg from countries that to be quite frank, don’t like us.”

Environmental groups on the other hand, say differently. Lois Epstein, an environmental consultant, said that is an old way of thinking.

“Oil and gas is going away and we should not be putting into development brand new, large scale projects at this point,” Epstein said. “We know better. We’ve seen the effects of our winter economy in Alaska being harmed by climate change.”

To truly ensure that America no longer remains dependent on foreign oil, Epstein said the country needs to switch entirely to renewable resources and the current climate should motivate the country to move towards clean energy.

The White House, in the meantime, says oil companies have resources they aren’t using.

“Obviously, we’re engaging with big global oil producers around the world to meet that demand,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “But there are also, as we’ve talked about a few times in here, 9,000 unused oil leases that oil companies could certainly tap into and we’ve encouraged them to do that. So that’s certainly a way to address.”

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