Alaska Drilling Project Gets OK | God's World News

Alaska Drilling Project Gets OK

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    This 2019 aerial photo shows an exploratory drilling camp at the proposed site of the Willow oil project on Alaska’s North Slope. (ConocoPhillips via AP)


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On Monday, the Biden administration announced approval of Alaska’s Willow oil project. The move is one of President Joe Biden’s most important climate choices. But environmentalists say it breaks the President’s campaign promises.

A group of Alaska lawmakers met with President Biden and his advisors in early March. They pled their case for the project. Meanwhile, environmental groups urged project opponents to work against it.

President Biden’s Willow plan allows for three drill sites. Project developer ConocoPhillips says that would include around 200 total wells.

In exchange, ConocoPhillips will give up rights to about 68,000 acres of leases in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Climate activists are outraged at the greenlighting of the Willow project. They say it breaks the President’s promise to stop new oil drilling on public lands. Environmental groups will likely file lawsuits against the decision.

ConocoPhillips’ Willow project could produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day. The project will also bring up to 2,500 construction jobs, 300 long-term jobs, and billions of dollars for the federal, state, and local governments.

Located in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, Willow enjoys widespread support in the state. Alaska Native state lawmakers recently met with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to urge support for it.

But environmental activists say the project undermines “the new clean economy that the Biden administration committed to advancing.” Some promote a #StopWillow campaign on social media.

Anticipating a negative reaction, the White House announced on Sunday that it will prevent or limit oil drilling in 16 million acres in Alaska and the Arctic Ocean. Those drilling limits protect important habitats for whales, seals, polar bears, and other wildlife.

Alaska’s Republican U.S. senators warn that further limits could make the project unworkable.

City of Nuiqsut Mayor Rosemary Ahtuangaruak leads a community of about 525 people near the proposed development. She worries about impacts to caribou and her residents’ survival lifestyles. The Naqsragmiut Tribal Council, in another North Slope community, also raised concerns.

However, there is “majority consensus” in the region in support of the project, says Nagruk Harcharek. He is president of the group Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat. His members include leaders from across much of that region.

The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. — Psalm 24:1

(This 2019 aerial photo shows an exploratory drilling camp at the proposed site of the Willow oil project on Alaska’s North Slope. ConocoPhillips via AP)