Obama Administration Bans Drilling In Half Alaska Oil Reserve

Are the fears that millions of voters had about a second Obama term coming true during the later part of the first term?

The Obama administration using their usual environmental concern excuse, has now banned drilling in half of the vast National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

This move that has rightfully outraged a vast majority of Alaska’s congressional delegation.

According to Investors Business Daily, “The price of gasoline, which was $1.84 a gallon the day President Obama took office, has more than doubled since, willfully aided and abetted by an administration that claims we can’t drill our way to energy independence as we ignore vast reserves of North American energy that dwarf OPEC’s and we sit on 100 years’ supply of petroleum.”

Obama Administration Prevents Access To Oil

obama halt alaska oil
Obama Administration blocks access to Alaska oil.

The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA), not to be confused with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to the east, is a 23.5-million-acre, Indiana-sized tract on Alaska’s North Slope. It was established by President Warren G. Harding in 1923, ensuring a steady flow of oil to the U.S. Navy.

Desolation is the only word that can describe the NPRA. It is the largest tract of undisturbed public land in the United States. The nearest town or road is 120 miles away.

The reserve was transferred in 1976 to the Interior Department. Congress designated it as a strategic oil and natural gas stockpile to address the nation’s energy needs. But last August, President Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that new drilling would be allowed on only half of the reserve while the other half will be off-limits to oil and gas exploration.


Environmentalists Rule Over The People

Enter the environmentalists who lobbied to “protect” the habitat of caribou, eider ducks and other Arctic species. All of which will be as safe with drilling (even safer) than no drilling at all.

Obviously the protests were met with loud criticism from the energy industry and the Washington Post went as far as to say, “The move drew praise from environmentalists but sharp criticism from oil and gas proponents who said it would restrict the industry’s ability to tap the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.”

So who’s in charge, “environmentalists” or the United States of America government? With Barack Obama in the White House, this has become a gray area.

Naturally, as often happens with this administration, the off-limits portions of the reserve are the most productive areas of a tract the IBD states has 2.7 billion barrels of oil and 114 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

That is “B” as in billions.

Alaskan Democrat Cites Administration Blocking

Senators Mark Begich (a Democrat) and Lisa Murkowski, and Rep. Don Young call the administration’s action, “The largest wholesale land withdrawal and blocking of access to an energy resource by the federal government in decades.”

This is the three senior members of the Alaska congressional delegation in Washington. Who knows better about these things than the people representing the people of Alaska? They also said the move “will significantly limit options for a pipeline” through the reserve to transport oil and gas.

Is this not getting through to Salazar and the White House?

Obama Administration Sleight Of Hand

“The move is typical Obama sleight of hand: Take credit for increased oil production on public lands that you had nothing to do with, lock up resources on federal lands with the exception of places the oil companies find unprofitable or unpromising, then blame them, not your administration, for driving up prices,” according to an IBD spokesman.

Gasoline is hitting all-time highs in this country promising to continue the stalled climb soon. Is anyone in this country outraged?

Dwight L. Schwab Jr.
Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014," was published in July, 2014. "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Presidential Election in History," was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.