(GoRealNewsNow.com) – The administration of President Joe Biden has approved a massive oil drilling project in Alaska despite the protests of climate activists and many liberals in his party.
The Willow Project is an $8 billion development on the state’s northern coastal plane within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
Developer ConocoPhillips plans to build 250 oil wells there to produce 600 million barrels of crude oil over 30 years.
Biden’s approval of Willow comes after environmental groups and Native American tribes “lobbied heavily” against the project, The New York Times reported, as cited by The Daily Caller.
The Biden administration mulled limiting Willow to two drilling pads instead of the five proposed ones. Still, ConocoPhillips and Alaska’s legislature said at least three were needed to make the project economically viable.
“The President and the Biden-Harris administration continue to deliver on the most aggressive climate agenda in American history, including the creation of clean energy manufacturing and jobs,” the Department of the Interior (DOI) said in a release.
“He has secured record investments in climate resilience and environmental justice. And his economic agenda has put the United States back on track to reach its climate goals for 2030 and 2050, all while reducing America’s reliance on oil,” the DOI elaborated.
ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance issued a statement lauding Biden’s move as the “right decision for Alaska and our nation” while also praising Alaska lawmakers’ support of the Willow Project.
“We are truly grateful for the steadfast support from Alaska’s Congressional Delegation – Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Mary Peltola – Alaska Native communities, the state legislature, and organized labor groups,” Lance declared.
ConocoPhillips has forecasted that Willow will produce between $8 billion and $17 billion in revenue for the Alaskan state government and local communities.
Biden’s decision was attacked by environmental groups, while CNN predicted that those would challenge the Willow Project in court.
“We can’t drill our way to a sustainable future,” declared Ben Jealous, executive director of the environmental group Sierra Club.
“We must conserve public lands, not sell them off to corporate polluters. The harmful effects of President Biden’s decision cannot be overstated,” he added in a release.
Kristen Miller, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, declared she was “disappointed” by the Biden administration’s decision.
“The Willow project is designed to open the door to the development of billions of barrels of oil over decades. Let’s be clear: rampant oil and gas development on our nation’s public lands must stop now. We will keep fighting the Willow project,” Miller stated.
The US Department of Interior release also made it clear that the Biden administration had taken steps to restrict future oil and gas projects in the Natural Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
Thus, Biden has designated more than 13 million of the 23 million acres in the reserve as “Special Areas.”
One US official told Bloomberg that the administration had few ways of limiting Willow directly, but the designations would establish a “firewall” against future drilling projects in the area.
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