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Sen. Inhofe’s Statement on the Obama Administration’s Grab of 12 million acres in ANWR


U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today pledged to work with Congress to rein in the Obama Administration’s power grab of millions of acres in Alaska: 

“The President’s announcement today to lock up millions of acres and 40 billion barrels of untapped resources in Alaska will greatly hinder economic opportunity across the state and further hamper America’s pursuit for energy independence.  It’s one thing for the President to say he is for building a strong middle class, but his policies are working against his own rhetoric.” Inhofe said.  “Most alarmingly, the President once again ignored the law and trampled on state’s rights in order to solidify his legacy with his liberal base.  With the Department of Interior’s plan to immediately place millions of acres of ANWR off limits, the nation is seeing federal government overreach at its finest.  This action will not be tolerated in the new Congress.  I am proud we have Senator Dan Sullivan serving on the Environment and Public Works as Subcommittee Chairman on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water.  I will do everything in my power to support Sen. Sullivan and the work of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as Chairman Lisa Murkowski in the fight to rein in the Obama Administration.” 

Today President Obama and Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced a proposal to lock up roughly 12 million acres in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).  The 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) requires Congress to approve any additional wilderness designations in Alaska.  Despite the law, the Department of Interior said today it proposes immediately managing the 1.5 million acres of coastal plain of ANWR.

Throughout Inhofe’s tenure on the EPW Committee, Inhofe has fought for responsible oil and natural gas development in ANWR and on federal lands in order to quickly achieve energy independence and to fuel economic growth with affordable, reliable energy resources.