President Joe Biden is trying to have it both ways on fossil fuels.
On Monday, the president gave the official green light for the ConocoPhillips Willow Project to move forward in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. The decision to approve the major oil and gas project promises up to 2,500 new jobs to the rural region during construction and another 300 positions permanently. The $8 billion project will also allow up to 180,000 barrels of oil to flow down the Trans-Alaska pipeline daily.
The decision triggered a public-relations crisis for a White House beholden to radical environmentalists who are hellbent on blocking any and all development. Even though just 3 out of 5 drilling sites were approved with bipartisan support, left-wing activists condemned the administration for igniting a “carbon bomb.” Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., called Biden’s approval a “betrayal.” Other Democrats including West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola celebrated the project’s chance to move forward.
To make amends with the disgruntled base, the president timed Monday’s decision with the announcement that the rest of the Arctic would be cut off from future development indefinitely. Read more…