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Biden approves massive Alaska North Slope oil drilling project

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작성자 Jim 작성일 23-03-26 15:05 조회 54 댓글 0


The Biden administration is defending its decision to approve the massive Willow oil drilling project on 's North Slope from some of its usual environmental allies who say it would put tons of carbon in the air and be 'bad for the environment.'
The White House announced the plan on Monday after announcing limits on drilling in the Arctic, in a move likely designed to soften the blow but in a ploy one environmental lawyer called 'insulting.'
To allow ConocoPhillips to drill in a federal oil reserve approximately the size of Indiana is one of Biden's most consequential climate choices.

And it continues to draw  who say it flies in the face of Democratic pledges. 
Biden pledged in 2020 to ban 'new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters.' The pushback comes as Biden is making preparations for the reelection campaign.
This 2019 aerial photo provided by ConocoPhillips shows an exploratory drilling camp at the proposed site of the Willow oil project on Alaska's North Slope.

The administration announced it was approving a plan to drill 219 wells which could produce 180,000 barrels of crude each day
On the Willow project, where ConocoPhillips owns leasing rights, the administration faced a court battle if it rejected the plan.
The Willow plan would allow three drill sites initially, which project developer ConocoPhillips has said would include about 219 total wells.

A fourth drill site proposed for the project would be denied. The company has said it considers the three-site option workable.
Houston-based ConocoPhillips will relinquish rights to about 68,000 acres of existing leases in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
With an estimated 600 million barrels of crude oil that could be produced over three decades, the project could put 280 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere, as first reported by the New York Times - even as the administration is seeking to drastically reduce global carbon emissions.
Christy Goldfuss, a former Obama White House official turned policy chief at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said she was 'deeply disappointed'' at Biden's decision to approve Willow.

NRDC estimates would generate planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 1 million homes.
'This decision is bad for the climate, bad for the environment and bad for the Native Alaska communities who oppose this and feel their voices were not heard,' Goldfuss said.
Biden has regularly touted the nation's energy production during a bridge period even while pushing climate goals, and he has been battling gas prices at home while seeking to help meet Europe's energy needs amid Russia's war on Ukraine. 
comes a day after the administration, in a significant move toward conservation, said it would bar or limit drilling in other areas of Alaska and the Arctic Ocean.
Climate activists were outraged that Biden appeared open to greenlighting the project, which they said put Biden's climate legacy at risk.

They say that allowing oil company ConocoPhillips to move forward with the drilling plan would also break Biden's campaign promise to stop new oil drilling on public lands.
The administration's decision is not likely to be the last word, with litigation expected from environmental groups.
Biden made a campaign pledge in 2020 to ban 'new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters.' His administration faced a likely court fight if it denied the permitting request
Pressure had been building on the social media platform TikTok to urge President Joe Biden to reject an oil development project on Alaska's North Slope from young voters concerned about climate change
 To allow ConocoPhillips to drill in a federal oil reserve approximately the size of Indiana is one of Biden's most consequential climate choices.

Nancy Peltola (D-Alaska), the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress, is supportive of the Willow project.
The Latest News comes as Biden heads to California, where he will meet with Australian and British allies and speak on gun violence
ConocoPhillips Alaska's Willow project could produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day, create up to 2,500 jobs during construction and 300 long-term jobs, and generate billions of dollars in royalties and tax revenues for the federal, state and local governments, according to the company. 
Located in the federally designated National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the project enjoys  in the state.

Alaska Native state lawmakers recently met with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to urge support for Willow.
It is also backed by labor groups who say it could create 2,500 jobs and Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola, the state's first Alaska Native to serve in Congress.
But environmental activists have promoted a #StopWillow campaign on social media to remind Biden of his pledges to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy.
Anticipating that reaction among environmental groups, the White House announced on Sunday that Biden would prevent or limit oil drilling in 16 million acres in Alaska and the Arctic Ocean. The plan would bar drilling in nearly 3 million acres of the Beaufort Sea - closing it off from oil exploration - and limit drilling in more than 13 million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve.
The withdrawal of the offshore area ensures that critical habitat for whales, seals, polar bears and other wildlife 'will be protected in perpetuity from extractive development,' the White House said in a statement.
The U.S.

Bureau of Land Management, as part of an environmental review, advanced in February a development option for Willow, calling for up to three drill sites initially, which it said would include about 219 total wells. ConocoPhillips Alaska said it considered that option workable.
Alaska's Republican U.S.
senators warned any further limits could kill the project, rendering it uneconomic.
Alaska´s bipartisan congressional delegation met with Biden and his advisers in early March to plead their case for the project. Environmental groups rallied opposition and urged project opponents to pressure the administration.
Under the state's constitution, a portion of all oil lease revenues get put into a state Permanent Fund, with dividends paid to residents.  Its value had reached $77 billion by the end of January.
City of Nuiqsut Mayor Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, whose community of about 525 people is closest to the proposed development, has been outspoken in her opposition, worried about impacts on caribou and her residents´ subsistence lifestyles.

The Naqsragmiut Tribal Council, in another North Slope community, also raised concerns with the project.
Kristen Monsell, a lawyer with the Center for Biological Diversity, dismissed the tradeoff of environmental protection for new oil extraction.
'It's insulting that Biden thinks this will change our minds about the Willow project,' she told the

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