Biden Admin Approves Alaskan Oil and Gas 'Willow Project'

    Photo: aljazeera

    The Facts

    • US Pres. Biden's administration greenlit ConocoPhillips’ large Willow oil and gas drilling project in Alaska on Monday, much to the consternation of environmental and climate change campaigners.

    • The administration has come under fire from Indigenous peoples and climate campaigners, who say that the decision to approve the project breaks his climate change pledges.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The Biden admin. has made the right decision for Alaska and for the country. Approval of the Willow project fits with the admin’s priorities on environmental and social justice, facilitating the energy transition to a green economy and enhancing US energy security, all while creating good union jobs and providing benefits to Alaska Native communities. This project should reduce US dependence on foreign energy supplies, and is projected to deliver between $8B to $17B in revenue for the federal government, the state of Alaska, and North Slope Borough communities.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Biden has just approved the next US climate bomb. This decision is not only a complete betrayal of his commitment to confront the climate crisis but is also an open violation of Indigenous rights. Willow would be the single largest oil extraction point on US public lands, emitting 278M metric tons of pollution over the next 30 years. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions from 74 coal plants — one-third of all remaining US plants. Willow will disproportionately impact the community of Nuiqsut, a predominantly Iñupiaq village of about 500 people already suffering extreme pollution from existing oil projects.

    Public figures in this story

    Joe Biden

    Establishment split



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