The scathing attack by Sen. Ed Markey (D.MA) was directed at President Joe Biden’s government after it approved a reduced version of an oil drilling program in northern Alaska. This is a region that is rich in petroleum.
Markey, climate hawk and cosponsor for the failed Green New Deal, called ConocoPhillips Willow Project approval by the administration, a multibillion dollar oil drilling venture in Alaska’s federal North Petroleum Reserve, a “disastrous” decision.
Markey stated that the move was an “environmental injustice” despite Biden’s approval of a limited version which would permit drilling on three rather than five drill site pads. However, the Biden administration also announced new restrictions for future drilling in the Last Frontier.
Markey stated that by investing in the fossil-fueled future and not the green-energy one, Markey was failing frontline environmental justice groups who are suffering from climate chaos and American consumers who continue to be influenced by rising and volatile oil and gas prices.
Markey was joined in this by several environmental activist groups such as the Sunrise Movement and the Sierra Club. Greenpeace also condemned the Willow Project for being a “carbon bomb”.
Markey stated, “I stand in solidarity with the community advocates who oppose this disaster decision and will continue fighting beside them to put our citizens and the planet before the profits of Big Oil.”
ConocoPhillips projects that the project’s oil production will reach a peak of 180,000 barrels/day and generate up to $17million in new revenue for the federal government, Alaska and the North Slope region of the state. This is the location of the project.
The bipartisan Alaska congressional delegation was generally pleased with the project approval, despite the apparent concessions made by the Biden administration in response to environmental groups.
Senator Dan Sullivan (R.AK) called the project “critically essential for Alaska’s economic, good-paying job for our families and the future prosperity” but acknowledged that the battle with the administration over American oil production is far from over.
Dunleavy stated that “taking future oil production from Alaska off the map will not decrease global oil consumption.” It will only shift the market and give power to producers in countries with lower standards for the environment or human rights.
Other Republicans expressed disapproval as well, including Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-MT, former secretary of the interior under Trump, who stated Monday in a statement that approving a scaled down project was a “kick to the pants.”
Zinke stated that Biden has approved three pads and is still promising regulatory harassment by only approbating them.
Rep. Chip Roy (Republican from Texas), whose home state hosts a portion of the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves, had harsh words. He said during an interview with Fox News’s Harris Faulkner, that Biden “wants crumbs with a little production” after dumping 200 million barrels of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last Year because he had to respond to his own failing policies.
Roy referred to Markey and said, “Now, the radical left incensed he’s going open up two to three pads out five in one portion in Alaska as some kind of give to the American people wanting us to actually produce American crude oil and natural gas.”