Biden admin relents, expected to approve oil drilling permits in Alaska: Report

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President Biden’s administration is expected to propose a limited plan for expanding oil drilling in Alaska in the coming days, relenting on its longtime opposition to domestic oil production.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is pushing for an environmental review that will effectively endorse the ConocoPhillips (CP) oil company’s plan to open up to five new drilling sites in the state, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The plan is a scaled-back version of CP’s Willow Project, which seeks to open up access to some 600 million barrels of crude oil.

The Biden administration has long opposed the expansion of domestic oil production, even as President Biden has complained about the effects of limited supply.

As gas prices skyrocketed for Americans this summer and fall, Biden turned to foreign oil producers like Saudi Arabia, expressing disappointment when they refused to increase supply.

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A part of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is seen on September 17, 2019 in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A part of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is seen on September 17, 2019 in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CNN's Brian Stelter asked Biden adviser Gene Sperling if part of the problem with economic coverage in the media was that administration officials and TV anchors don't feel the pain like the average American. 

CNN’s Brian Stelter asked Biden adviser Gene Sperling if part of the problem with economic coverage in the media was that administration officials and TV anchors don’t feel the pain like the average American. 
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Americans are taking it in the shorts because the Biden administration has basically declared war on American affordable, abundant energy,” Dan Kish, a senior fellow at free-market think tank Institute for Energy Research, told Fox News Digital in the fall.

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Biden had promised on the campaign trail to end fossil fuels, saying there would be “no drilling.” He reiterated as much during an event in New York alongside Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“There is no more drilling. I haven’t formed any new drilling,” he said at the event after getting shouted down by a climate protester.

Critics have argued it is hypocritical for Biden to oppose drilling on U.S. soil even while urging foreign producers to ramp up their own production levels.

President Biden is slated to make his first trip since taking office to the oil-rich nation of Saudi Arabia in July.

President Biden is slated to make his first trip since taking office to the oil-rich nation of Saudi Arabia in July.

One report surfaced in the fall showing that Biden’s administration had approved a plan for the oil producer Chevron to resume drilling in Venezuela even as he opposed doing so in the U.S.

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“It’s not like the Biden administration is opposed to energy extraction and drilling, no, they’re just opposed to it domestically for cheap political accounting tricks that claim that they’re fighting global warming while offshoring,” ClimateDepot.com publisher Marc Morano told Fox News at the time. “This is something that Americans have to recognize.”

Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

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