The Biden Administration approved the controversial Alaska oil project known as Willow on Monday after rumors surfaced last week that the Administration was set to approve it.
The massive oil Willow Project covers three drill sites in the National Petroleum Reserve in an area that is estimated to hold up to 600 million barrels of oil. The project has incited much controversy from climate activists and some of Biden’s supporters from the left, many of whom argue that the project is a major setback in fighting climate change, with the Interior Department’s estimate that the project could see 278 million metric tons over its 30-year lifespan.
On Friday, in response to the rumors, the White House commented that no decision had been made. Meanwhile, the Interior Department unveiled protections on Sunday for more than 16 million acres of land in the National Petroleum Reserve and the Arctic Ocean, which will now be off limits for oil and gas leasing—a move that some interpreted as the Administration’s way of appeasing the liberal left in the runup to the announcement for Willow’s approval.
The $8 billion Willow Project is now in the hands of ConocoPhillips, in addition to creating a wealth of carbon emissions, will create jobs and an estimated $17 billion in revenue for the federal government, in addition to beefing up energy security in the United States.
The project is expected to produce 160,000 bpd – 180,000 bpd of crude oil.
Prior to the project’s approval, climate activists have made it clear that they would only be satisfied with an outright rejection of the Willow Project.
Arkansas Senator Dan Sullivan has called the Willow Project “one of the biggest, most important resource development projects in our state’s history.”