The Biden administration has denied the recent report about its planning to announce its approval for an Arctic oil drilling project which has faced a lot of opposition from both environmentalist and Native American groups.
On Friday CNN, The New York Times, and Bloomberg all reported that the Interior Department is going to officially allow ConocoPhillips to move forward with the Willow Project, an $8 billion endeavor that could be the single largest oil drilling operation to have taken place in the U.S.
However, despite these reports, the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters of The Hill that there has not yet been a final decision regarding this process.
The site proposed for the project is part of the National Petroleum Reserve and was acquired in the 1990s. In 2018 an application for the site to be developed was put through. The development has the support of Alaska lawmakers, including Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Mary Peltola (D), who last week published a joint op-ed on CNN pushing for Biden to approve the project.
The lawmakers also referred to the project as the “most environmentally responsible choice” to meet immediate energy needs while the country prepares to move towards renewable fuel.
Environmental and native organizations oppose this position, stating that the project would be an environmental disaster and would be going completely against the Biden administration’s decarbonization goals. According to a federal review, the proposal would lead to the release of close to 280 million metric tons in carbon emissions.