President Biden’s new offshore energy chief is an environmental activist with long history of opposing oil and gas development.

On Jan. 19, Elizabeth Klein will take over as director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a post that oversees the development of wind energy and key decisions impacting offshore drilling.

Klein will help implement the Biden administration’s environmental agenda which includes ambitious and controversial efforts to move America away from fossil fuel energy.

She previously served in the Clinton and Obama Interior departments and is the former deputy director of the NYU School of Law’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center.

From 2017 to 2021 she worked for the State Impact Center, which aided left-leaning state attorneys generals in implementing climate and environmental policies, while also helping them sue the Trump Administration and the Dept. of Interior.

Klein sparked national controversy in 2021, when Biden initially nominated her to work as his deputy secretary for the Interior. Her nomination was thwarted after Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan opposed it, as did Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. In the closely divided Senate, Biden ultimately decided to pull her nomination.

Many pro-fossil fuel development lawmakers see Klein as a serious threat to oil and gas initiatives, and the bureau she is now tasked to oversee has moved quickly to expand offshore wind developments while opposing oil and gas leases.

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Biden taps environmentalist to oversee offshore oil and gas leases

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Lobo says:

    Well, there you go.. Just like that.. “If you like your PFD, she can keep it”.

  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Well I guess all we have to do is sit on our thumbs and not vote anymore. It helps keep Griper Joe and the goon squad in power. In two more years there won’t be an America to resurrect! We are now the third world country Trump talked about. What’s the next step down on the ladder? Gone completely maybe?

  • Mayo says:

    Lovely that someone with energy, sense and integrity will help protect water quality, wildlife and habitat in our home.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Didn’t Biden just complete a lease auction sale for gas/oil exploration in Cook Inlet on 12/30/2022? Why would he have this auction if they are planning on doing away with oil/gas? A little money laundering perhaps?

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Researching this lease auction that Biden had: Hilcorp Alaska LLC won the bid. Hilcorp has already established themselves in Alaska, including in Ninilchik I believe. Research their history of being environmentally conscious – why fix something when you can just pay the fine and be done with it until next time? Red flags going up in my mind about this company. Again, is this just a money laundering scheme that will hurt our environment or be used against us to shut down our gas and oil?