American Prospect

American Prospect: Biden should not trade executive actions for mythical Senate promises

The Washington Post reported this week that President Biden is considering bartering the approval of significant fossil fuel projects in exchange for Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) vote on a modified reconciliation package that would include renewable-energy tax credits. Described as a “difficult balancing act,” the White House has apparently discussed the possibility of greenlighting ConocoPhillips’ 30-year Willow Project in Alaska, the Virginia/West Virginia Mountain Valley Pipeline, and a five-year leasing plan out of the Interior Department that, unlike what Biden pledged during his campaign, would offer new leases for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and on Alaska’s North Slope.

The Hill

The Hill: Are the feds closing the door on climate action?

The Biden administration is weighing several options for the future of a major proposed drilling project in Alaska that could produce massive quantities of oil and significantly contribute to climate change. The administration released an environmental review that said that at its peak, the project could produce more than 180,000 barrels of oil per day and produce a total of 629 million barrels overall over the course of a 30-year duration.


CNN: Biden administration takes key step in controversial Alaska oil drilling project, angering environmental groups

The Biden administration has taken a key step forward on a controversial proposed oil drilling project in Alaska's North Slope, angering climate advocates who say the project would release tons of emissions and doom the President's climate goals. The US Department of Interior released a draft environmental impact statement for the ConocoPhillips oil drilling project, known as Willow, on Friday night. The statement does not represent a final decision and includes several potential scenarios for the project, including no drilling. But it was a critical step the Biden administration needed to complete for the process to move forward -- setting off alarm bells among environmental groups.

Wall Street Journal

WSJ: Interior considers shrinking ConocoPhillips oil project in Alaska

A preliminary proposal from the Interior Department would potentially shrink a multibillion-dollar oil project planned for parts of the Alaskan Arctic, but could ultimately give a green light to a project facing fierce opposition from environmental groups. A new environmental assessment from Interior’s Bureau of Land Management proposes several development scenarios for the stalled ConocoPhillips oil project, called Willow, slated for Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. That includes shrinking the project to three drilling sites down from the five the company initially proposed, among other options, according to a Friday announcement from the bureau.

Washington Post

WaPo: Gas leak at ConocoPhillips Alaskan drilling site forces some to leave

The Willow project is one of Alaska’s top development priorities, but it has prompted backlash from environmental and Indigenous groups who warn that it will harm wildlife, drive up carbon emissions and undercut the Biden administration’s transition to renewable energy. ConocoPhillips’s gas leak at the Alpine facility “demonstrates that industry is still not able to operate safely in this environment,” said Jeremy Lieb, a senior associate attorney with Earthjustice, which is suing over the project. “These projects pose a real threat to the people living nearby and a climate threat if you have a gas leak directly into the atmosphere.”

Audubon Magazine

Audubon Magazine: Critics say Biden must do more to keep Arctic oil in the ground

After one year in the White House, President Joe Biden is taking fire from all sides when it comes to the government’s stance on fossil fuels. Environmentalists are fed up with his failure to halt oil and gas activity on federal lands. Meanwhile, energy companies castigate him for taking steps to rein in the industry. The administration is caught in the middle, trying to meet climate goals while facing the legal and political challenges of freezing development where drillers already hold federal leases. Now, on Alaska’s North Slope, Biden’s fossil-fuel balancing act—or, as critics see it, his attempt to have it both ways—is playing out across the wild landscape of the nation’s largest tract of public land, with high stakes for Arctic wildlife and the global climate.

Inside Climate News

Inside Climate News: ConocoPhillips’ plan for extracting half-a-billion barrels of crude in Alaska’s fragile Arctic presents a defining moment for Joe Biden

The Biden administration is facing a major test for its climate agenda in the Alaskan Arctic, where an oil company is proposing a 30-year development that would pump more than half-a-billion barrels of petroleum from a fragile and rapidly-warming ecosystem. Climate advocates say the Willow project, planned by ConocoPhillips, is incompatible with President Joe Biden’s goal of setting the nation on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050, and are calling on him to reject the proposal.

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