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Biden Poised to Reject Mining Company’s Request for Road Through Alaskan Wilderness

Biden administration set to deny 200-mile Ambler mining road (Credits:

The Biden administration is set to reject federal approval for a proposed industrial road in northwestern Alaska, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The Ambler Access Project, which would stretch over 200 miles and provide access to copper deposits for Ambler Metals, requires approval from the Interior Department due to its passage through federally-owned land.

While the outgoing Trump administration greenlit the project in late 2020, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland initiated a review of the approval process upon taking office.

President Biden (Credits: Asharq Al-Awsat)

The anticipated decision to deny approval aligns with vocal opposition from local tribal leaders, who argue that the road would endanger local wildlife and fisheries crucial to Native Alaskans.

Despite support from Alaska’s Republican senators and congressional representative, the Tanana Chiefs Conference, representing 42 tribal groups, has raised concerns about the project’s environmental impact. They assert that the road would disrupt hunting and fishing lands relied upon by indigenous communities for millennia.

A spokesperson for Ambler Metals expressed disappointment at the potential denial, emphasizing the project’s backing from local communities and its potential to create jobs and revenue in the region. However, the company had not yet received direct confirmation of the decision at the time of reporting.

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden (Credits: GOBankingRates)

The decision carries broader political implications, particularly concerning President Biden’s appeal to younger voters. Polling suggests that many younger voters, who played an important role in Biden’s 2020 victory, prioritize climate and environmental issues.

Biden’s previous approval of the Willow oil drilling project in Alaska drew criticism from environmental advocates, highlighting tensions within his base over energy and conservation policies.

The potential rejection of the Ambler Access Project underscores the administration’s balancing act between economic development and environmental protection. It also reflects the growing influence of climate-conscious voters within the Democratic Party, whose support will be crucial in future elections.

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