Joe Biden’s administration shocked environmentalists by defending an Alaskan oil drilling project approved by Donald Trump
(AFP / Getty)
The Biden administration backed Alaska’s large-scale oil drilling project, infuriating environmentalists, Donald Trump..
Known as the Willow Project, the project will enable natural gas company ConocoPhillips to extract more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day from Alaska’s North Slope over the next 30 years. New York Times..
The Trump administration approved the plan in October last year, but environmental groups filed a proceeding in February 2021 to prevent it. President Biden Inauguration – Due to concerns about local wildlife and global warming. Given Mr. Biden’s strong support for environmental issues, the group may have expected Mr. Biden to support his goals.
It wasn’t. On Wednesday, the Home Office defended the project. simple ConocoPhillips has already considered its impact on wildlife and filed it with the US District Court in Alaska, claiming that environmental groups were too late to challenge the plan.
“Konoko has a valid lease right,” the court document said.
Alaskan environmental groups were embarrassed by this decision.
“This is especially disappointing, as the president promised better results,” said Sikinich Morpin, director of the living Arctic Sovereign Inupiat. Times..
During his tenure, Biden has defended the cause of fighting the climate crisis. Early in his inauguration, he rejoined the Paris Agreement, which was rejected by Mr. Trump. On Earth Day, he convened 40 world leaders for a summit on how to reduce carbon emissions. Within the United States, he imposes many restrictions on oil and gas drilling on public land.
Climate change activists find it difficult to align that record with ConocoPhillips’ decisions.
“Not only does the project itself have serious and long-term climate problems, but it also sets the stage for more emissions in the future,” said Kristen Miller, head of the Alaska Wilderness League. Times..
However, the Home Office states that the plan is compliant with environmental regulations.
“The US Department of Justice’s Wednesday filings continue to keep the 2020 decision record for the National Oil Reserve Willow Project,” the agency said. Independent“The submission claims that the decision is NEPA compliant. [National Environmental Policy Act] Plaintiffs did not challenge the decision record within the time limit associated with the environmental review of the NPR-A project.
There may also be political calculations behind the decision.One of Alaska’s senators Lisa Markovsky, A rare moderate Republican. If the Senate is evenly divided as Mr. Biden tries to move the legislative agenda through Congress, her vote can be very valuable.
Both Mr. Murkovsky and Alaskan House of Representatives, Dan Sullivan, Delighted to support the Biden administration’s Willow project.
“We are pleased to share that the Interior Ministry has provided a brief explanation to assist Willow and has promised to support the project moving forward,” Murkovsky said. statement“Through careful consideration, we have always known that the government can move forward because the Willow project has undergone a rigorous and comprehensive permit process and is maintained in the highest environmental and labor standards in the world. I came to the same conclusion as the world. “
Mr Sullivan agreed.
“Thanks to President Harland and the Secretary of State for listening to us and defending this once-in-a-generation energy development.” Said“Today’s news about Willow is very positive for Alaska, high-paying jobs for double-income families, and our economy.”
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