Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, sounded the alarm about President Biden’s oil restrictions, pressing his Interior secretary nominee, Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., on an executive order she said targeted her state.
“When we see these executive orders coming out of the White House that not only impact a resource-based state like Alaska, but actually call us out by name,” she told Haaland during her confirmation hearing Tuesday. “We’re one of only two states in the nation that were specifically targeted by President Biden’s Day One executive order,” Murkowski said.
She seemed to be referring to Biden’s executive order directing the Interior Department to place a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Murkowski went on to say she didn’t think Biden was “out to get” Alaskans but that she does think “there is a definite threat to the resource industry that our state is blessed to be able to host.”
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Addressing Haaland, she asked her point-blank: “So if you are confirmed to this very significant position, what is your approach going to be with regards to oil, and gas and mineral resource development within a state like Alaska?”
Haaland responded in part by saying that she wanted to continue working with Murkowski and help Alaskans get the opportunities “they need.”
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“I know that President Biden doesn’t want to cripple any state,” she said.
“He put the pause on the new leases in order to review the program. I want you to know that if I’m confirmed, I will rely heavily on our relationship moving forward. I do want to work with you. I do want to make sure that I understand the unique issues in Alaska, and to make sure we are doing all we can to ensure that your constituents have the opportunities that they need.”