Biden Administration Expected to Move Ahead on Major Oil Project in Alaska

"The decision would allow an enormous $8 billion drilling project in the largest expanse of pristine wilderness in the United States."

"WASHINGTON — In one of its most consequential climate decisions, the Biden administration is planning to greenlight an enormous $8 billion oil drilling project in the North Slope of Alaska, according to two people familiar with the decision.

Alaska lawmakers and oil executives have put intense pressure on the White House to approve the project, citing President Biden’s own calls for the industry to increase production amid volatile gas prices.

But the proposal to drill for oil has also galvanized young voters and climate activists, many of whom helped elect Mr. Biden and who would view the decision as a betrayal of the president’s promise that he would pivot the nation away from fossil fuels.

The approval, by the Interior Department, of the largest proposed oil project in the country would mark a turning point in the administration’s approach to fossil fuel development. The courts and Congress have forced Mr. Biden to back away from his campaign pledge of “no more drilling on federal lands, period” and sign off on some limited oil and gas leases. The Willow project would be one of the few oil developments that Mr. Biden has approved freely, without a court or a congressional mandate."

Lisa Friedman reports for the New York Times March 10, 2023.


"Biden To Enact Arctic Protections As Approval Of Oil Project Looms" (Washington Post)

"Biden Officials Back Alaska Oil Project Scorned as Carbon Bomb" (Bloomberg)

"As Biden Weighs Willow, He Blocks Other Alaska Oil Drilling" (AP)

"White House Denies Reports Biden Has Decided To Sign Off On Controversial Alaska Oil Project" (The Hill)

"Biden Expected To Ok Alaska Oil Project — A Blow To His Green Base" (Politico)

"Biden Denies Reports That Alaska Oil Drilling Project Has Been Approved" (Guardian)

Source: Reuters, 03/13/2023