BUCK: They wanted to take your gas stove a couple of weeks ago. Then they pretended they didn’t. But they also, now in this Biden administration, want to continue to be hostile to the domestic production of American energy, gas, oil, you name it. We’ve got Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska with us now, wants to update us on what’s going on, on the energy front. Senator Sullivan, thanks for calling in.
SEN. SULLIVAN: Hey, Travis and Buck, great to be back on the program.
BUCK: Appreciate you, sir. So, what’s going on with the Obama, I’m sorry, the Biden — pardon me, we’re just talking about Obama a few minutes ago — the Biden administration right now with regard to American energy?
SEN. SULLIVAN: Well, look, as you guys know, it’s in many ways more of the same. But we had a potential and I say potential softening of the craziness that’s been happening for two years. And you guys know what this is. I mean, look, there’s a lot of horrible things strategically that they are doing across so many sectors in terms of hurting America. But I believe the worst damaging policy of the Biden administration has been their energy policy. And you guys know it. Clay and Buck, you guys have been talking a lot about this over the course of the last two years. But we know what it is. Day one, they’ve been shutting down the production of American energy and slow rolling it.
They’ve been stopping energy infrastructure. Keystone XL on day one. But so many other things. They’ve been going to Wall Street and American financial institutions pressuring them, believe it or not, not to invest in American energy. And then when the predictable results of those policies happen, which is higher energy costs, gas costs for American working families, these guys then literally go over on bended knee to Saudi Arabia, to Venezuela. Heck, they’re even playing footsie with Iran, the biggest terrorist state in the world, to get them to produce more energy.
So, what I’ve been trying to do the last two years is using every element of my power in the Senate to get them to do a course correction. You got to produce American energy here. We have the highest standards on the environment in the world. We have the best workers in the world and when we produce American energy here, it helps our economy, helps our national security. And yes, Clay and Buck, it helps our environment. So, today we had an announcement from the BLM, Bureau of Land Management, that said they are going to…they’re looking at moving forward on a project in Alaska we called the Willow project.
Now, this is in the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska, which we set aside Congress 70 years ago for oil and gas exploration. Shouldn’t be controversial. It will be about 200,000 barrels a day at peak production. Could America use that? Yes, we can. With the highest environmental standards of any major energy project in the world. So, we’ve got 30 more days until the record of decision is issued. And we know that within the administration, all the radical environmental groups in America are coming out against this. Some of the allies of these radical groups and the Biden administration are still trying to kill it.
But we need Americans, and I would love it if all your listeners, I know you guys got millions, would be a call to action to the Bureau of Land Management, BLM.gov, in the next 30 days saying “Hey, we support the Willow project. What’s good in terms of energy in Alaska is good for our country.” The web site is BLM.gov. So that’s the latest and greatest. Guys, there might be a crack in this insane policy to shut down American energy in Alaska in particular and go beg Venezuela and the Saudis for oil, but we’ll see. It’s going to be the battle royale in the next 30 days, and we need every American weighing in to try and help our country regain American energy security.
CLAY: That website is BLM.gov. Senator, I appreciate you joining us.
SEN. SULLIVAN: Sorry about that. BLM.gov. Yeah, I don’t… I don’t want to send you BLM dot com. That might be something different.
CLAY: Yeah. No doubt. There’s a good joke in there in the White Lotus Season One, for anybody out there who watched White Lotus, Season One. Senator, a lot of questions we get — we got a big audience in Alaska — ranked choice voting is a mess and it feels like a lot of people, Republicans Democrats, independents, felt like they were sold a bill of goods based on the way it was applied in the midterms. What can you tell us about that ranked choice voting, whether there might be a movement to end the way the ranked choice voting? Certainly, it cost Republicans a House seat, maybe have changed the outcome of who would have won the Senate. What do you think about ranked choice and is it possible to go back to, quote unquote, normal voting in Alaska?
SEN. SULLIVAN: Well, the background of this, and you guys know it, in my view, was very troubling because you had an outside group come in, in 2020. They put this ballot on a statewide ballot. They put it, I don’t know, eight or 9 million bucks in advertising behind it. The Republican Party, I was certainly opposed to it in 2020. We tried to fight it. We didn’t have the resources to fight it. It was 28 pages, right? As a as a ballot initiative. Nobody knew anything about it. The legislature didn’t hold any hearings about it. It was just big outside, lower 48 money that got this on the ballot. And it passed in 2020 with less than 1% of the vote. I mean, that’s not democracy.
Nobody even knew what they were voting on. Very confusing. And I will tell you, the first run of it, in my view, talking to Alaskans, I’ll give you an example. You know, we have a really great Alaska state fair and it’s wonderful. If any of your listeners haven’t been to Alaska, I know all your listeners who do or are from Alaska. Our state fair is awesome. I have a booth there, you know, I work the booth. It’s a great opportunity to meet with and hear from Alaskans. I was working my booth at the state fair right after the first use of the ranked-choice voting in August of last year. I would say, honest to gosh, guys, 95% of the Alaskans who we’re talking about it to me were saying, “Completely confusing. I had no idea how it worked.”
I mean, unanimously, at least in that kind of unofficial poll, talking to dozens of Alaskans about ranked choice voting, utter confusion. So, I’m hoping the way it works in our legislature, once a ballot initiative has been on the books for two years, it doesn’t need to be amended by another ballot initiative. It can actually be amended by the state legislature. So, we’re in that window now. At a minimum, I’m hopeful that our state legislature holds hearings and, um, and, you know, tries to get to the bottom of what people really thought about it because, like I said, it got put on the ballot without any background, without any knowledge. And the initial run, I think, caused way more confusion than the, you know, original system that exists in most states.
CLAY: No doubt. Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska, BLM.gov is the website. If you want more freedom for the people of Alaska, we appreciate your time and look forward to talk to you again.
SEN. SULLIVAN: Clay and Buck, tell them you support the Willow project — 200,000 barrels a day, 2,500 jobs for Americans — you know, enhancing our energy independence and national security. This is a no-brainer. Don’t let the radical environmental left crush Alaska and American energy independence.
CLAY: No doubt. Appreciate that.