Trump accuses Murkowski of killing ANWR; ‘I will be there to campaign against her!’ he vows

“I think she will be met very harshly by the Alaska voters in 15 months, and I will be there to campaign against her!”, said former U.S. President Donald Trump (pictured here on January 12 in Texas). (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump has issued a media statement saying Sen. Lisa Murkowski is responsible for the Biden administration’s decision to suspend action on drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“Senator Lisa Murkowski has cost the great people of Alaska billions and billions of dollars by voting for Radical Left Biden appointees, which in turn led to the revocation of ANWR drilling, which Alaskans have been fighting to see happen for six decades,” his statement says, under a “Save America” banner.

Save America is a political action committee established to promote Trump.

He also renewed his pledge to work for Murkowski’s defeat, suggesting he’d go to Alaska for it next year.

“I think she will be met very harshly by the Alaska voters in 15 months, and I will be there to campaign against her!” he wrote.

Murkowski, when she was a key Senate swing vote in 2017, got ANWR drilling added to the Republican tax bill. The Trump administration held the first lease sale in the refuge in the final days of his administration, though they attracted little interest from oil companies.

Drilling leases suspended

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland last week suspended those drilling leases.

Murkowski voted for Haaland’s confirmation. Trump’s statement doesn’t mention it, but Sen. Dan Sullivan also voted to confirm Haaland. Congressman Don Young crossed the Capitol to urge senators at her confirmation hearing to support her. All of them are ardent supporters of drilling in the refuge.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to campaign against Murkowski. She was one of the Republican senators to vote to convict him at his second impeachment trial. His angle Monday – taking credit for allowing oil drilling in the refuge while blaming Murkowski for the Biden administration’s anti-drilling agenda – echoes an opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News last week, authored by Kelly Tshibaka, a Republican who has filed for Murkowski’s Senate seat.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Weak response to ANWR lease sale applauded by Yukon politicians, activists

Finland: Miners hunting for metals to battery cars threaten Finland’s Sámi reindeer herders’ homeland

Greenland: Five Eyes alliance urged to forge ties with Greenland to secure minerals

Norway: Norway’s Supreme Court rules in favor of Arctic oil drilling

Russia: Two Chinese rigs prepare for drilling in Russian Arctic waters

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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