Environmentalists can’t believe President Biden did what he did this week in approving more oil drilling on federal land in Alaska.
They say he violated his 2020 campaign pledge to ban all new oil drilling on federal land by granting permission to ConocoPhillilps to carry out the $8 billion ConocoPhillips Willow oil project, which is expected to produce more than 600 million barrels of crude oil over three decades in Alaska’s North Slope.
The result was alarm and dismay and near-political-apoplexy from activists and many Democratic lawmakers reported Business Insider.
However, members of the Western Congressional Caucus, made up of mostly Republican members who support the oil and gas industry, had an entirely different reaction.
Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, who is chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said the project will provide essential jobs and revenue for Alaska, and at the same time, increase American energy security. But he was critical of the President’s decision to also put restrictions on future leases in the North Slope and the Arctic Ocean.
“Lessening our dependence on foreign oil and lowering energy costs for American families should be a top priority, yet President Biden continues to attack American energy production and hardworking citizens.”
“We’re pleased to see the Willow Project finally move forward after years of bureaucratic hurdles, costly environmental reviews, and radical activists obstructing the voices of Alaskans,” said Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) who was also critical of Biden’s decision to put other parts of Alaska off-limits to drilling.
“The fact this announcement is accompanied by additional, indefinite resource development prohibitions on Alaska lands and waters is further evidence the Biden Administration’s senseless lock-up of our nation’s resources is far from over.”
Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola , an at-large congresswoman in Alaska praised the decision
“Now, it’s on us here in Alaska to make sure that we make the best of this opportunity—that we use the revenues and jobs and economic opportunity from this project to make investments in the future of Alaska. We need to build up our schools, our housing stock, our rural Internet and electric grids, and more, in order to make this a truly 21st-century economy.”
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