The $8 billion oil-drilling program was approved by the Biden administration Monday despite opposition from environmental groups.
ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project was approved by the Department of the Interior this week. This permits the oil company to drill in three of five locations within Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve.
The company forecasts that the project will produce as many as 180,000 barrels per hour and $17 billion in annual revenue for the federal and local governments of Alaska and Alaska.
The Willow Project will create 300 long-term jobs and 250 wells. There will also be several pipelines. A processing plant, an airport, and a gravel mining operation will be included.
Two other ConocoPhillips drilling locations were rejected by the Bureau of Land Management ConocoPhillips also gave 68,000 acres of drilling rights over to another project
The DOI rejection of the two sites would “substantially decrease” the project’s scale and, therefore, lower greenhouse gas emissions.
“ConocoPhillips was denied two of five proposed drilling site pads by the Record of Decision, reducing its footprint by 40%,” stated DOI. “ConocoPhillips’ concurrent surrender of 68,000 acres of its northernmost and southmost leases reduced the Bear Tooth Units’ footprint within NPR-A by one-third. ”
This will reduce the project’s freshwater use and eliminate any infrastructure that was associated with the two rejected drilling locations. There are approximately 11 miles of roads and 20 miles of pipelines. There are also 133 acres worth of gravel. This reduces the potential impact on subsistence users and caribou migration.
Supported by dark money environmental organizations, a social media campaign urged users to use Twitter and TikTok to urge the administration not to continue the Willow Project.
Karlin Nageak Itchoak serves as the senior regional director for the non-profit Wilderness Society. According to The Guardian, Willow “is a carbon bomb that can’t explode in the Arctic.”
Although the Willow Project was initially approved by Trump’s administration, it was later canceled by a federal judge who found that additional environmental reviews were necessary.
The drilling project was supported by the Alaska Federation of Natives and labor organizations.
The Biden administration’s DOI stated, before the Willow Project approval was granted, that 16,000,000 acres of federal land in Alaska would be exempt from future drilling projects.
Fox News Digital was told by an ex-top Bureau of Land Management official, that the DOI’s decision to not allow drilling was “totally politically motivated.”
It was completely political, according to the former official. It’s not based on science, climate change, or biological resources.