Fox News reports that the U.S. Department of Interior (“DOI”) is expected to finalize regulations today (4/19/2024), effectively locking up more than 13 million acres of public land within the National Petroleum Reserve (“NPR-A”) and creating an outright ban on any new oil and gas leases in about 40% of the NPR-A.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) stated during a press conference yesterday (4/18/2024) that “[President] Joe Biden is doing everything he can to attack American energy.  They’re going to prohibit oil production in, of all places, the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.  That’s like saying no more picnics in Yellowstone National Park.”

In February 2024, U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and U.S. Congresswoman Mary Peltola (D-AK), sent correspondence to the White House urging the Biden administration to consider the perspectives of Native Alaskans – many of whom support oil and gas development in the NPR-A.

The Fox News report may be read HERE.

The DOI, led by Secretary Deb Haaland of New Mexico, continues to wreak economic havoc with its energy policies that are driven by the view that climate change is an existential threat to the United States and the world.

Credit: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty | via People []

The perspective (ideologically and politically) seems to be that oil and gas is inherently evil and must be immediately replaced with renewable energy sources such as wind energy.  Ironically, a sudden move to only renewable energy sources would collapse western society, as these forms of energy do not have the capacity or associated infrastructure to compete with the reliable, safe and abundant energy the world enjoys from oil and gas.

The Biden administration and left-leaning governors in the United States are pushing electricity at home and abroad as a better option, despite that fact that mining (e.g., lithium) and oversees manufacturing plants are anything but “environmentally clean” and sufficiently protective of human health.

Related concerns include foreign child labor; environmental degradation from metals mining and manufacturing related to battery production; the inability of electric vehicles to effectively replace fossil fuel-driven vehicles and aircraft because of unreliability, short operational ranges and the lack of charging infrastructure and sufficient electricity generation; and importantly, national security issues associated with a quick and mandated move away from fossil fuels by the military and society in general.

My brothers and sisters, we need to be wise in how we steward our God-given, earthly resources, but being “well-meaning” is not enough!  If we cherish and act upon the wisdom of the world and overlook God’s blessing resulting from the use of fossil fuels, we are holding an opinion of ourselves (in the natural) that is too high.  We become fools.

As a former and retired environmental specialist, investigator and enforcement manager with the USAF and the State of New Mexico Environment Department, respectively, this writer appreciates greatly the need to steward the earth’s resources in a clean manner.  After all, God created mankind and instructed us to take dominion over all the earth (see Genesis 1:26-28).

However, it is shortsighted and haughty to simply decide that humankind is so powerful that it is about to destroy the world.  Climate has always changed – remember the ice age and glaciers?  That said, manmade pollution is real – remember acid rain, Love Canal, etc.?

In response, U.S. regulatory actions were taken (e.g., Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and many others mostly initiated during the Nixon administration) that have demonstrably resulted in cleaner air, water and disposal or management of hazardous materials and wastes.

Unfortunately, it seems to be human nature to believe that if a little bit of something is good, then a lot of it must be great!  Sadly, that is a formula for failure, if not disaster.  If one takes a small amount of medicine to correct disease, it does not follow that taking a huge amount of the drug will make things better more quickly.  For example, if one takes a small amount of insulin to sustain healthy glucose levels in the blood, taking a lot of insulin is not better – in fact, it’s likely to kill you.

Protecting our environment and assuring sufficient protection of human health is very important, but not when it’s solely based upon the wisdom of man (see Genesis 1:26-28, Proverbs 2:6 and 1 Corinthians 3:19), and not when it’s accomplished at the expense of lives and our entire societal norms.

Here are the above-referenced scriptures:

Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV)
“Then God said, ‘[l]et Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘[b]e fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

Proverbs 2:6 (NKJV)
“For the Lord gives wisdom; [f]rom His mouth come knowledge and understanding…”.

1 Corinthians 3:19 (NLT)
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.  As the Scriptures say, ‘He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.’”

Praise Jesus forevermore!

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