Biden Okays Major Arctic Oil Drilling Project
This has angered environmentalists
The Biden administration approved one of the largest oil developments on federal land Monday, giving a win to Alaskan industry and its congressional allies despite protests that the project would undermine U.S. efforts to phase out fossil fuels worldwide.
Opponents hoped President Joe Biden would reject energy giant ConocoPhillips' multibillion-dollar drilling project, called Willow, on Alaska's North Slope. But facing the prospect of having such a decision overturned in court, the administration agreed to let the oil company build three pads in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), the nation's largest expanse of public land, according to a federal Record of Decision posted Monday.
The decision shrinks the project from the five pads that ConocoPhillips originally proposed, but allows what company officials have described as a site large enough for them to move forward. In a statement Monday, the company said it will start construction immediately on at least one gravel road and move toward a final investment decision on the full project.
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