Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) told Breitbart News that America’s energy industry “is going to come under serious attack” should Democrats seize a Senate majority, highlighting the left-wing party’s opposition to fossil fuel consumption and the oil and gas industry’s centrality to Alaska’s economy.
“I came back from a deployment in Afghanistan as a marine and I decided to throw my hat in the ring,” Sullivan stated in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak. Sullivan said he was compelled to run for political office in response to the Obama administration “shutting down” Alaska in pursuit of ostensibly environmental goals.
“The big reason I ran was because the previous Obama-Biden-Harry Reid power structure was shutting down my state,” Sullivan shared. “No access to federal lands, crushing jobs because they were so against resource development, putting liberal judges on the Ninth Circuit who are against issues like the Second Amendment that matter deeply to Alaskans, and shredding our military.”
The Department of Interior (DOI) announced in August that it has approved oil drilling leases for the first time in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations — a political manifesto composed by the presidential campaigns of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — advocates the closure of ANWR to resource exploration and development as a measure to combat “climate change.”
The Republican majority in the Senate is “working with this president and his administration” on matters of importance to Alaska “like opening ANWR,” Sullivan remarked.
Most of Alaska’s native communities are “extremely supportive” of energy development in ANWR, Sullivan stated, who noted his wife’s lineage as an Alaska Native.
“We’re unleashing this American energy renaissance,” Sullivan declared. “We’re rebuilding our military. We’ve put over 220 judges on the federal courts, and finally we’re able to have access to our federal lands with the federal government that wants to help us — not block us, the way the previous Obama-Biden administration did.”
Sullivan continued, “The key issue in my election is, do we want to continue to move forward on this positive agenda for Alaska, which I think is a positive agenda for America, or go backward in what I call the National Democrats’ view on Alaska, which is anti-resource development, anti-Second Amendment, anti-military, anti-law enforcement? That’s what they would do to my state, but that’s what they do the country, which is why keeping the Senate in Republican hands is so important.”
Pollak said Alaskans have shown that sections of ANWR can be “managed properly” in environmental and ecological terms by using processes such as directional drilling and ice roads.
“It’s not just like they’re going in there and dumping a bunch of metal across the landscape,” Pollak explained. “They do it carefully and they do it in a responsible way, and Trump got it done in 2017. In that tax cut, he opened up ANWR, and that was something that Congress could not get done for decades. My feeling is, I can’t imagine the voters of Alaska would punish the government, the Congress, and the president for giving ANWR the opportunity to flourish, which is something Alaskans have wanted for decades.”
Sullivan replied, “The national Democratic Party has become irrationally opposed to producing American energy.”
Development of Alaska’s energy resources is a matter of national security, Sullivan assessed. He contrasted domestic environmental regulations and standards with those of foreign competitors.
“In Alaska, we have the highest standards in the world with regard to environmental protection on producing energy,” Sullivan said. “In Prudhoe Bay, you can’t spit chewing tobacco on the tundra without having to report it. It is so meticulous.”
Sullivan went on to say, “Energy production in Alaska and America is such a win-win. What do I mean by that? It’s good for jobs, of course. It’s good for energy security, of course, because you’re producing your own energy. It’s good particularly in the Midwest and lower 48 for additional manufacturing because when you have large volumes of natural gas, you can move into other manufacturing value-added industries, and we’re seeing that.”
Sullivan added, “It’s good for the environment, and people say, ‘Wait, what do you mean?’ Because we have the highest standards, and if you’re not going to produce in places like Alaska when the world still needs oil and gas, what happens is you drive production to places like Russia or Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan that don’t have the standards nearly that we do and trash their environment when we protect ourselves?”
Democrat political control of Congress and the White House would place the “gift of American energy” at risk, concluded Sullivan.
Al Gross, Sullivan’s opponent, has been the beneficiary of the majority of outside spending on the Senate election in Alaska. According to Open Secrets, Alaska has been targeted with $12.9 million spent on advertising and communications “against Republicans” compared with $96,000 “for Republicans.”