5 MIN READ
“WASHINGTON — In one of the most consequential climate decisions of his administration, President Biden is planning to greenlight an enormous $8 billion oil drilling project in the North Slope of Alaska, according to a person familiar with the decision.
Alaska lawmakers and oil executives have put intense pressure on the White House to approve the project, citing President Biden’s own calls for the industry to increase production amid volatile gas prices stemming from Russia’s war against Ukraine.
But the proposal to drill for oil has also galvanized young voters and climate activists, many of whom helped elect Mr. Biden and who would view the decision as a betrayal of the president’s promise that he would pivot the nation away from fossil fuels.
The approval of the largest proposed oil project in the country would mark a turning point in the administration’s approach to fossil fuel development. The courts and Congress have forced Mr. Biden to back away from his campaign pledge of “no more drilling on federal lands, period” and sign off on some limited oil and gas leases. The Willow project would be one of the few oil developments that Mr. Biden has approved freely, without a court or a congressional mandate.”
This is a complex story, well presented. Thank you Lisa Friedman et al. It sounds like there might be a slow, compromise solution. I just read the extraordinary piece in the NYT in Saturday’s paper, “In Tower’s Basement, an Idea that Lock Pollution Away Forever,” by Frad Plumer, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/03/10/climate/buildings-carbon-dioxide-emissions-climate.html?smid=url-share which talks about sequestering CO2 from gas boilers in NYC and turning it into liquid CO2 and then putting it into cement blocks as calcium carbonate. So the Biden administration should create a new hurdle for this oil project, it has to be able to captured the C02 from the oil well project, and from the customers who might burn the oil. I’m not saying full no to it, but it can’t just add to our C02 problem, which is causing global warming, ocean acidification, and other serious life-threatening problems. I’m afraid it makes sense to leave this oil in the ground for now, since these carbon capture issues are not up to speed yet, and increases worldwide in the cost of oil only makes sustainable energy projects mored attractive to invest in. I would like to see a report on all the reasons the Biden Administration is not outright killing this project, what are their identified benefits. It will probably help Biden’s reelection, but does he need it.
David blogs at InconvenientNews.net, and is about to publish a book on climate change and the sixth extinction.