“President Biden continues to carry out the most aggressive climate agenda in U.S. history,” the Department of the Interior announced.
The Biden administration declared on Sunday night that 16 million acres of federal land and water in Alaska would no longer be accessible for fossil fuel exploitation.
The National Petroleum Reserve (NPR) is an area of North Slope Borough, Alaska, set aside by Congress for the exclusive purpose of oil and gas development. The Department of the Interior (DOI) has started the regulatory process to “provide maximum protection” for the NPR’s 13 million acres. President Biden has declared illegal the lease of an extra 2.8 million acres in the Beaufort Sea, an area of the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska.
“With these efforts, President Biden continues to deliver on the most ambitious climate agenda in American history,” the Department of the Interior said. “It is in large part due to his efforts that the United States is now viewed as a desirable location for enterprises and individuals working in the field of renewable energy generation. He advocated for, and was granted, record funding for climate-resilient and environmentally fair infrastructure.”
Furthermore, “his economic strategy has placed the United States back on schedule to accomplish its climate targets by 2030 and 2050 while lessening America’s reliance on oil and insulating American households from the repercussions of Putin’s attack on global energy markets,” as the statement puts it.
As a result of the announcement, the federal government’s Arctic Ocean territory is off-limits to the exploration and production of fossil fuels. However, there will not be another offshore lease sale in the region by the government until at least 2028.
President Biden allegedly intended to suspend fossil fuel development in areas with a high concentration of endangered or vulnerable species, according to the Interior Department. Teshekpuk Lake, Utukok Uplands, Colville River, Kasegaluk Lagoon, and Peard Bay are all a part of this. Some fossil fuel pipeline infrastructure work in the northern Alaska region has been suspended as a result of Biden’s sweeping efforts.
One former top official at the Bureau of Land Management was described on Sunday night by Fox News Digital as claiming the decision was “completely political” and had nothing to do with science, climate change, or biological resources.
They’re only making excuses for political goals.
The National Park Service is expected to authorize a huge 30-year oil drilling project in the NPR. By making this declaration, the Department of the Interior appears to have discovered a way to help climate change activists in the meanwhile.
According to congressional sources quoted by Fox News Digital, the Biden administration will announce on Monday that it has approved three of the five proposed drilling areas for ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project.
ConocoPhillips predicts that once Willow is up and running, it will produce 180,000 barrels of oil per day, bring in over $17 billion in money for the federal government, Alaska, and local communities (many of which are Indigenous), and provide over 2,500 construction employment and 300 permanent jobs. Throughout its expected 30-year lifespan, it can produce 600 million barrels of oil.
While Biden and other high-ranking White House officials have been keeping a close eye on the approval process, it is the Department of Interior’s (DOI) responsibility to inform the public of the ultimate decision.
“Ending the Willow Project as soon as possible is urgently needed. We mustn’t return to burning fossil fuels. Instead, we need to build a sustainable energy future that benefits everyone.” Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts. No matter which way the oil moves, it will always have a negative effect.
Democrats like Oregon’s Senator Merkley have termed the likely administration approval of the project a “complete betrayal.”
Willow has the backing of the Alaskan congressional delegation (Republican Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski and Democratic Representative Mary Peltola), the entire Alaska legislature, Governor Mike Dunleavy (a Republican), Alaska Native communities, labor union leaders, the North Slope Borough, and the Alaska Federation of Natives.