U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney welcomed Monday’s news that energy development would be allowed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
The Department of Interior announced on Monday its intention to allow oil and gas development in roughly 10% of the area.
Predictably, the announcement caused a schism between both parties with Cheney signaling her support by tweeting the Wall Street Journal article which had the story first.
“Today’s announcement by Secretary Bernhardt approving drilling in ANWR is another promise kept by President Trump that will boost our country’s domestic energy production while also returning power to state and local officials where it belongs,” Cheney said on Twitter.
Although Democrats predicted environmental doom if the area was developed, the handwringing may be premature.
The issue has been a political football for more than 30 years, and as the New York Times reported on Monday “any oil production within the refuge would still be at least a decade in the future” if it ever happens.
Already one group is ready to sue the administration over it.
“The Trump administration’s so-called review process for their shameless sell-off of the Arctic Refuge has been a sham from the start. We’ll see them in court,” said a statement from Lena Moffitt, the Sierra Club’s senior director of its Our Wild America campaign.
Plus, with energy prices so low, the business climate for development could be an obstacle.
“Current market forces weigh against the industry trying to sink new wells in such an expensive and inhospitable place, and that consumer pressure against such moves will be considerable,” wrote Scott Martelle of the Los Angeles Times.
Oddly, President Trump didn’t tweet anything about the news on Monday but told FOX News that he would “take a look” at the Dept of Interior’s decision.
“ANWR is a big deal that Ronald Reagan couldn’t get done and nobody could get done,” Trump said.