Earth Day is Monday, and once again President Joe Biden is putting the American people last and environmentalists first with Friday’s actions making swaths of Alaska off limits to the development of oil, natural gas, and critical minerals.  

America’s air is getting cleaner every year, and carbon emissions have declined by 1,000 million metric tons over the past 16 years. Even if America were to abandon all fossil fuels, global temperatures would only decline by two-tenths of 1 degree Celsius by 2100, according to government models.

Oil prices are more than $80 per barrel, and Americans are frustrated that gasoline prices are rising. Why, then, in an election year, is his Interior Department banning oil development on 13 million acres in Alaska, including 40% of the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve?

Oil prices are set by expectations of future production, and Biden’s actions are signaling that less oil and gas will be produced on his watch.

White House senior adviser for climate policy John Podesta said in a statement, “Today’s historic actions to protect lands and waters in the western Arctic will ensure continued subsistence use by Alaska Native communities while conserving these special places for future generations. With these new announcements, the Biden-Harris administration has now protected more than 41 million acres of lands and waters … .”

Podesta is a former president of the Center for American Progress, which has a goal of “an equitable and just path to a 100 percent clean economy with net-zero climate pollution, protection of 30 percent of lands and waters.” CAP’s donors are undoubtedly praising Podesta for the White House actions.

This comes at a time when America, Russia, and China are in a race for valuable deep-sea minerals to power their electric vehicle batteries. America has some of the largest offshore Arctic deposits, but will cede them to foreign adversaries if American companies are not permitted to mine them.

The Interior Department also failed to approve the 211-mile Ambler Road project, which would link the Dalton Highway to the Ambler River and open new areas to copper mining and other resource development.

Rules from the Environmental Protection Agency require 70% of new car sales and 25% of new truck sales to be electric by 2032, and the road would have added to available critical minerals for electric batteries.

Similarly, Biden has utilized the Antiquities Act to create five national monuments, collectively spanning more than 1.5 million acres of federal land. While these proclamations are ostensibly aimed at preserving areas of historical or archaeological importance, they often come at the expense of resource development.

People reliant on logging, mining, and energy extraction have felt the brunt of the damage inflicted by Biden’s regulations.

Biden recently designated nearly 1 million acres of land in Arizona to create the Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. Just as Alaska has copper deposits, now off limits, Arizona has some of the America’s richest uranium deposits, making future uranium-mining operations impossible.

Biden’s executive branch overreach makes America weaker and more dependent on China for critical minerals. It takes away local communities’ ability to provide economic stability for themselves and the nation.

American oil companies and refineries have watched Biden take step after step to destroy their industry so as to appease environmentalists, all the while blaming these same producers for fuel shortages and lack of critical minerals.

As well as cutting off supplies of oil, gas, and minerals, Biden has placed climate czars at the Securities and Exchange Commission and at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. These officials discourage companies from investing in pipeline and fossil fuel equipment and banks from lending to companies to provide financing.

At current usage rates, the nation’s recoverable reserves are large enough for at least two centuries of petroleum supply. Moreover, we are always finding more reserves or improving technology to access oil more efficiently.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration sees no prospect of global oil demand decreasing between now and 2050. Ninety percent of Americans’ transportation needs are met with petroleum, and electric vehicles sales are slowing.

Petroleum products are used for much more than transportation. Oil is used as a feedstock for everything from pharmaceuticals and plastics to clothing. America has an abundance of energy and critical minerals, if politicians would just allow access.

Biden is playing politics with domestic and global energy markets. Average Americans don’t want to buy costly electric vehicles and are collateral damage, stuck with soaring electricity and fuel costs. It’s no gift for Earth Day.