Biden’s Willow project is incredibly hypocritical

Alaska is being disrespected with the Willow project


The Willow oil drilling project will generate billions of dollars in tax revenue for the federal, state and local government

ANNE MURPHY, Evergreen columnist

With a seemingly blatant disregard for his climate change campaign promises, President Biden has approved an oil drilling project that will have terrible effects in accelrating climate change.

President Biden approved an $8 billion oil drilling project in Alaska that would generate over 278 million metric tons of carbon emissions over roughly 30 years. He approved this project despite promising during his 2020 presidential campaign to stop new oil drilling on federal lands, according to AP News.

But there is no real winning in this scenario. Even if the Biden administration had denied the project, it would have been bad for the economy in Alaska, where people and businesses are struggling because they still have not fully recovered from the pandemic, according to Anchorage Daily News.

The project will have terrible consequences for the climate, but has oddly brought Alaskan government officials together in a bipartisan congressional delegation along with several Alaskan Native tribes who support the project. According to CNN, this could become a great source of revenue in Alaska that will provide thousands of new jobs in the state.

The Willow oil drilling project will generate billions of dollars in tax revenue for the federal, state and local government, according to ConocoPhillips, Alaska’s largest crude oil producer.

“Willow fits within the Biden administration’s priorities on environmental and social justice, facilitating the energy transition and enhancing our energy security, all while creating good union jobs and providing benefits to Alaska Native communities,” said Ryan Lance, the chairman and chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips.

This statement is clearly untrue, as the mining of oil from these lands will cause terrible harm to the planet as well as further the terrible effects of climate change. Rather than mitigating the ongoing climate crisis and aiding in the fight against climate change as this statement suggests, it would only worsen the harm done to the planet.

But this decision is not that surprising. It did not seem like President Biden was going to be able to find a way out of this as the project had already been approved by the Trump administration, and it had been determined by the courts that the Biden administration could not fully reject the project, according to CNN.

This decision has already been met with harsh pushback from climate activists, especially younger activists who have been posting about the issue on TikTok and gaining more awareness of the topic through the platform.

President Biden did put in place protections for 16 million acres of land in Alaska, making it off-limits to mine oil there. This decision was made public just one day before the approval for Willow was announced, according to NBC.

These protections were clearly an attempt to mitigate the negative response he would undoubtedly receive over this decision that will be terrible for the planet.

Sadly this project is going forward, and it does not seem like there will be much to do in the way of stopping it now that President Biden has approved it.