Washington OKs Huge Oil Drilling In Alaska
by Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – The United States government has approved the $8 billion Willow oil drilling project in the U.S. State of Alaska despite expected anger from climate change activists.
Monday’s announcement seemed like a u-turn by President Joe Biden, who publicly pledged to halt new fossil fuel exploration on federal land during his 2020 campaign.
The new multimillion-dollar project will be located inside the National Petroleum Reserve, about 200 miles (320) kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. It could produce nearly 600 million barrels of crude oil over the next 30 years, the U.S. Interior Department said.
However, the Department stressed that it reduced the scope of the so-called Willow Project by denying two of the five drill sites proposed by ConocoPhillips, Alaska’s largest crude oil producer.
U.S. officials estimated the project could produce nearly a quarter of a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Previous President Donald J. Trump was often ridiculed by Biden and his allies for supporting more oil and natural gas exploration in the U.S.
Within hours after Trump left office, Biden proudly signed 15 executive orders, including revoking a presidential permit to finish the Keystone XL pipeline.
It meant the end of the $8 billion pipeline that would have carried oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to the American Gulf Coast, creating thousands of jobs.
The project came to symbolize Biden’s announced attempt to limit the use of fossil fuels “to rein in greenhouse gas emissions” that he said impact climate change.
Biden also recommitted the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement to “avert catastrophic global warming” and ordered reviewing and reinstating more than 100 environmental regulations weakened or rolled back by Trump.
Yet, Biden’s trumpeted green ambitions underwent a reality check: A surge in oil prices and skyrocketing prices at the gas pump after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced his administration to embrace the fossil fuel industry amid fears of more inflation.
The Willow oil drilling project approved Monday seemed part of a significant shift in U.S. energy policies.
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