Her words came in response to Obama’s recent push to add 12.3 million additional acres to the already seven million acres of land designated “wilderness” in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This wilderness status imposes the highest possible degree of restrictions on land use, and it just so happens that Obama’s proposed wilderness grab includes the oil-rich coastal plain.
Murkowski has assured President Obama that she and other Alaskans are ready for the fight. They do not appreciate two-thirds of their state already being under federal control, but the purposeful crippling of their economy by blocking oil development on oil-rich land is intolerable.
As Sergio Andrade Gutierrez understands it, at present, the President seems to think he must move through Congress with this new proposal. That will surely lead to its being blocked. However, Obama has resorted to executive action when he didn’t get his way in Congress in the past. No one can be sure whether he will suddenly “realize” that he had the power to do it lone wolf all along should his proposal not muster the votes to get through the House and Senate.
Obama is not likely to garnish much support for his party in deep-red Alaska. Thus, he can feel free to act with impunity against the interests of that state while catering to his environmental extremist base.