Biden Admin Cited ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ as Reason To Block Oil and Gas Leases

Biden Admin Cited ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ as Reason To Block Oil and Gas Leases

  • February 19, 2024

Joseph Simonson, Free Beacon

When the Biden administration stepped in last year to block seven oil and gas leases in Alaska, it said it was doing so in part to recognize the “Indigenous Knowledge” of the Native Americans who originally inhabited the land.

The move was indicative of the administration’s embrace, in late 2022, of “Indigenous Knowledge”—that is, Native American folk wisdom—as part of their scientific assessments. so when Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced on Sept. 6 2023, that the entire United States Arctic Ocean was off limits to new oil and gas leasing, and canceled seven oil and gas leases issued by former president Donald Trump after a review, she cited  “the best available science” and said the decision was also a “recognition of the Indigenous Knowledge of the original stewards of this area.”

That announcement has prompted a scientific integrity complaint by Protect the Public’s Trust, a watchdog group. “Indigenous Knowledge,” the complaint says, privileges “subjective beliefs over and above evidence derived from the application of the scientific method.”

“The American public can rightly hold serious concerns that the Biden administration’s decision making, through the use of Indigenous Knowledge, is susceptible to manipulation without even the pretense of adhering to scientific principles,” Protect the Public’s Trust director Michael Chamberlain wrote in the complaint.

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