House Republicans block Biden’s war on energy production in Alaska


Oklahoma’s congressional delegation was among Republicans in the U.S. House who stood up to fight the White House and its recent moves to restrict oil and gas exploration in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The House voted in support of H.R. 6285, Alaska’s Right to Produce Act. The final vote was 214-199 as Oklahoma Reps. Stephanie Bice, Josh Brecheen, Kevin Hern and Frank Lucas helped pass the measure. Rep. Tom Cole did not vote.

An attempt was made by House Democrats to recommit the measure prior to the final vote. House rules allow such a vote as a final chance for the House to debate and amend the measure before the final vote. It failed on a 201-211 vote with the same Oklahoma Reps., Bice, Brecheen, Hern and Lucas voting against the motion. Rep. Cole did not vote on the recommit effort.

The approval of the bill prompted statements from Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse and Minnesota Rep. Pete Stauber who are also leaders of the Western Caucus.

“Alaska is blessed with abundant natural resources, yet the Biden Administration has declared war on energy production there,” said Chairman Newhouse. “Rural and native communities rely on energy production for their livelihoods and our country needs these resources to achieve energy independence. It’s time for this assault on Alaskan energy to cease.”

Rep. Stauber, who is vice chair of the caucus was also critical of what the Biden administration is attempting.

“From Minnesota to Alaska, President Biden has repeatedly prevented the responsible production of America’s abundance of natural resources,” said Stauber. “First it was the enactment of a mining ban in northern Minnesota, and now he has turned his focus to Alaska, where he has enacted 63 sanctions to block resource development.”

This legislation:

  • Ratifies and approves all authorizations, permits, and any other approvals or orders issued for the establishment and administration of the Coastal Plain oil and gas leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
  • Mandates reissuance of canceled ANWR leases within 30 days of enactment, prevents a future administration from taking similar action to revoke leases, and reaffirms existing law that the Department of the Interior (DOI) must hold another ANWR lease sale by Dec 22, 2024.
  • Requires the DOI to withdraw the proposed National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) rule, which prevents energy production on certain Alaskan lands, and prevents the development of a substantially similar rule.

Read the full text of the bill here.