The Ukraine crisis and Native fossil fuel concerns
President Biden vows to address rising gas and heating prices related to war, but how will his commitments to Indian Country be impacted?
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said today that he would do everything in his power to ease the pain Americans are facing at the gas pump as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Everything in his power?
Does that include ignoring promises to Native Americans for strict environmental reviews of pipeline and other fossil fuel infrastructure-related developments that infringe on tribal treaties, lands, water, health and safety?
Letting domestic pipelines and fossil fuel projects go full steam ahead, of course, would create some energy to help account for rising prices. And such actions would certainly be in Biden’s power.
Some Native Americans are right now quite worried whether everything in the U.S. president’s power includes ignoring promises to them, as has happened so many times in the past.
Still, the raw statistics are already breathing down Biden’s neck, and Vladimir Putin’s invasion has only just begun.
“The Russia-Ukraine crisis has already helped lift oil and gasoline prices to levels unseen since 2014,” CNN Business reported on Tuesday. “Further sanctions on Moscow could drive pump prices closer to $4 a gallon.”
Republicans are also ramping up political pressure on Biden.
“We have continued to call on the administration to unleash American energy every step of the way as they have furthered their attacks on domestic energy production,” a spokesperson for Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) told Indigenous Wire today.