Department of Interior Shuts Down Millions of Acres of Alaska to All Oil, Gas and Mining Activity

Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

The Interior Department last Friday blocked 28 million acres of federal land in the state of Alaska from any mining or oil and gas development.

Rick Whitbeck, Alaska state director for Power The Future, said the decision on D-1 lands removes an area the size of the state of Pennsylvania from resource development, which will have severe energy impact to the nation and the state of Alaska.

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Ten States Ban Ranked-Choice Voting as Others Push for It in November Ballot Measures

As the number of states banning ranked-choice voting (RCV) is increasing, some are facing ballot measures this November that would implement the voting system.

While 10 states have banned RCV and more may join them this November if voters vote for the ballot measures, six other states will have ballot measures to switch their elections to RCV.

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Houses Passes Bill to Protect Domestic Oil Production, Protect Iñupiat Community

Alaska North Slope

The U.S. House passed another a bill to advance domestic energy production, this time in response to cries for help from an indigenous community living in the Alaska North Slope.

The bill’s cosponsor, a Democrat from Alaska, did not vote for her own bill. It passed with the support of five Democrats, including two from Texas who are strong supporters of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry.

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Biden Admin Announces Massive Restrictions on Alaskan Oil Reserve and Hampers Key Mining Project in One Fell Swoop

Alaska Petroleum Reserve

The Biden administration moved to block oil and gas activity on millions of acres of Alaskan land and effectively rejected a road project needed to mine large reserves of copper in the state on Friday, Bloomberg News reported.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) finalized a plan that will restrict future oil leasing and development on about half of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), an area in the state’s north approximately the size of Indiana first designated by former President Warren Harding as an emergency source of fuel for the U.S. Navy, according to Bloomberg News. The DOI also moved to all but shoot down the Ambler Access Project, a previously-approved proposal for a mining company to build a 211-mile long road needed to mine copper reserves potentially worth billions of dollars.

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Liberal Dark Money Pushes Ranked-Choice Voting as Campaign Gains Momentum Across U.S.

As ranked-choice voting gains momentum across the U.S., the campaign supporting the system is funded by a few liberal dark money groups run by mega-donors who seek to replace the influence of political parties with their own, according to Honest Election Project Action, (HEPA) an election integrity advocate.

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Biden Admin Reports Over 3 Million Illegal Aliens Cross America’s Borders in Single Year

For the first time ever, U.S. border agents encountered over 3.2 million illegal aliens on America’s borders in a single fiscal year, a number that is greater than the combined population of Hawaii, Alaska, and Vermont.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CPB, reported Saturday that agents encountered 3,201,144 illegal immigrants at or between ports of entry to the country between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023. (The federal government’s fiscal year runs from October through September.)

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Alaska Sues Biden Admin over Canceled Oil Leases

Alaska is suing the Biden administration for cancelling oil and gas leases sold in the state under the Trump administration.

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) formally filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior on Wednesday, a move which it had promised to make in response to DOI’s September decision to retroactively cancel seven oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The DOI hailed the cancellations as a strong action to protect the environment, but industry groups and political officials slammed the revocations for their questionable legality and effects on the U.S. energy sector.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s 9/11 Alaska Trip Is a Slap in the Face to the Nation

The Biden Administration has been flying cabinet and subcabinet members to and from Alaska all summer. From Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg to Interior Sec. Deb Haaland, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, and Health Assistant Sec. Rachel Levine, it’s been an impressive parade of diversity, equity, and inclusion sock puppets who regurgitate the party line.

The Big Guy himself arrives in state on Monday to – oddly enough – commemorate the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

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States with Weaker Marijuana Laws See More Impaired Driving, Report Finds

A new report found that states with less restrictive marijuana policies have higher incidents of residents driving while high.

The Drug Free America Foundation released a new report showing that states that have legalized or weakened restrictions around high-THC marijuana, either for medical or recreational use, saw 32% more marijuana-impaired driving than states that have not adopted the same policies.

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10 States to Sue EPA for Not Updating Wood Stove Emission Standards

Ten states and a regional government clean air agency plan on suing the Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly failing to update emission standards for wood-burning stoves, allowing high-emission stoves to still be sold.

The mostly Democratic state attorneys general filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA last week.

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Election Integrity Advocates Fight Against ‘Confusing’ Ranked-Choice Voting Pushed by Left

As ranked-choice voting gains momentum, election integrity advocates are fighting back over what the call a “confusing” voting system that they say would give the left more power.

Ranked-choice voting is an election process being introduced across the country, amid pushback from some states, including efforts to ban it.

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North Carolina, North Dakota, Among States Phasing Out Income Tax

Americans in search of economic freedom and opportunity are flocking to Florida, Tennessee and Texas, and at least part of the attraction is that these three states, along with six others (Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming and New Hampshire), don’t levy an income tax.

Other states may soon follow.

“There are 10 states that are in the process of moving their personal income tax to zero,” President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist said on the John Solomon Reports podcast.

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Commentary: Ranked-Choice Voting Is Just Another Way of Letting Elites Tilt the System in Their Favor

Americans want honest, straightforward and fair elections that they can trust. Regardless of whether candidates win or lose, voters deserve far better than the incompetence, mismanagement and multi-week delays in counting votes that we’re seeing in so many states today. So, at a time when trust in elections is at an all-time low, why are some establishment Republicans teaming up with Democrats to push a complex, confusing and painfully slow method of voting in America?

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Florida Set to Receive Part of a Nearly $400 Million Settlement from Google over Location-Tracking Probe

Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”

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McConnell Creates New Rift Inside GOP, Earning Censure from Alaska State Party

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who caused a stir this summer by questioning the quality of his party’s candidates, has created a new rift inside the GOP by spending millions to defeat Alaska GOP Senate nominee Kelly Tshibaka.

McConnell’s leadership PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, has been running attack ads against Tshibaka in an effort to boost moderate incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

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GOP Attorneys General Pressing NAAG to Return $280 Million

A dozen Republican state attorneys general are fed up with what they view as the leftward drift and self-dealing of their nonpartisan national association and are asking the organization to change its ways and return roughly $280 million in assets to the states.

The National Association of Attorneys General was created in 1907 as a bipartisan forum for all state and territory attorneys general. Over the last year, several of the group’s Republican members have asserted that NAAG has become a partisan litigation machine that improperly benefits from the many tort settlements it helps to engineer.

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Republican Governor Sues Biden Admin for Refusing to Clean Up Native Americans’ Contaminated Lands

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy of Alaska filed a complaint in Alaska’s United States District Court to compel the Department of the Interior (DOI) to take responsibility for hundreds of contaminated areas that the federal government transferred to Alaska Natives.

Dunleavy and the state of Alaska filed the lawsuit in mid-July as a last resort after the DOI allegedly ignored calls to identify and clean up 650 former federal military installations, oil drilling sites and other projects that are contaminating Native Alaskan lands, according to court filings. Despite the Biden administration’s emphasis on securing “environmental justice” for minority communities, the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), nor any other associated federal agency, is taking responsibility, the lawsuit alleges, allowing pollution and toxic waste to creep into natives’ food and water systems.

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It’s Official: Sarah Palin Making Political Comeback by Running for Open Alaska House Seat

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin, the Alaskan original who made Momma Grizzly Bears a political term of art as governor and then as the GOP’s first female vice presidential candidate, is officially making a political comeback.

Palin, 58, announced Friday night she will run for the open House seat vacated in Alaska by the death of longtime Rep. Don Young.

“Public service is a calling, and I would be honored to represent the men and women of Alaska in Congress, just as Rep. Young did for 49 years,” Palin said in her announcement. “I realize that I have very big shoes to fill, and I plan to honor Rep. Young’s legacy by offering myself up in the name of service to the state he loved and fought for, because I share that passion for Alaska and the United States of America.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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Sarah Palin Libel Case Against New York Times Thrown Out by Judge

A U.S. district court judge has ruled that the libel lawsuit brought forward by former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) against The New York Times should be thrown out.

The lawsuit was over a 2017 editorial from the Times, which Palin claimed linked her to the 2011 Arizona shooting that killed six people and wounded then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.).

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Nationwide, Americans Brace for a Busy Election 2022 Year

This past week was the last one before the US officially entered a midterm election year. Below are the latest updates.

States

In Alaska, the Lieutenant Governor is not running for reelection. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has said he will endorse the incumbent Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy, so long as Dunleavy does not back incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski.

In Colorado, Mesa County dropped a lawsuit against their County Recorder over an ongoing dispute about attesting to documents. The County Recorder is still facing other investigations.

In Georgia, a review of elections found that only four deceased people voted in the 2020 election.

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Alaska GOP Governor Secures Trump Endorsement Through ‘Non-Endorsement’ of Murkowski Reelection Bid

Mike Dunleavy and Lisa Murkowski

Former President Trump is issuing a public warning to Republican incumbents and those running for office: Don’t expect my endorsement without your “non-endorsement” of perceived GOP enemies.

He endorsed Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for reelection Thursday night after the incumbent made clear he’d uphold the quid pro quo from Trump two days earlier: not endorsing for reelection Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Republicans to vote to convict Trump in his impeachment trial related to the Jan. 6 riot.

In a statement intended for Trump that the ex-president published, Dunleavy wrote: “With regard to the other issue, please tell the President he has nothing to worry about.”

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Biden Ditches Alaska Oil Drilling Project That Would’ve Created Thousands of Jobs

The Biden administration abandoned an oil and gas drilling project in Alaska approved by former President Donald Trump, which it had previously defended.

The Department of the Interior failed to file an appeal to a federal judge’s August decision blocking the multi-billion dollar Willow Project being developed by the Texas-based oil and gas firm ConocoPhillips. Judge Sharon Gleason of the U.S. District Court of the District of Alaska ruled that the federal government hadn’t adequately reviewed the emissions profile of the project, which she said would ultimately harm the environment and wildlife.

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Commentary: Reject Federal Takeover of Elections – Again

Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

That is exactly how Americans must feel as they learn that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is trying to ram through another bill orchestrating a federal takeover of elections, despite the previous failed attempt in the Senate.

The bill, H.R. 4, is expected to come up in the House of Representatives this week, and it is stunning in its breadth. In short, Pelosi would give broad, sweeping powers to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to rewrite every state and local election law in the country.

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Biden Gears Up for Renewed Fight Against Oil and Gas

A federal judge has ruled the Biden administration must resume allowing oil and gas leasing on federal land and waters, but the administration is saying it will not go down without a fight.

The Biden administration said it will appeal a court ruling allowing the leases, the latest development in a months-long battle between President Joe Biden and the oil and gas industry, even as gas prices continue to rise.

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Four States to Slash COVID-19 Unemployment Aid Saturday

Man in gray shirt, standing in a shop

Four states will be cutting pandemic unemployment increases three months early, ending the supplemental $300 in federal aid.

Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, and Mississippi will end pandemic-related unemployment relief on June 12. An additional 21 Republican-led states will slash federal aid before it expires on Sept. 6, according to Business Insider.

Conservatives continue to advocate an end to the increased benefits, saying they are no longer needed now that the pandemic is contained and speculating that the high payouts are discouraging would-be workers from returning.

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13 States Sue Biden Administration, Demand Ability to Cut Taxes

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.

The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”

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