White House denies that Biden has agreed to an Arctic oil drilling project

March 12, 2023

The White House, according to The Hill, is now denying those reports that are claiming that U.S. President Joe Biden is going to sign off on a controversial oil drilling project located in the Arctic. 

What makes the project controversial is that it is opposed by Native American and environmentalist groups. In fact, according to The Hill, these groups have opposed the project for some time now.

This would explain why the White House is now working hard to deny the reports. Biden, after all, is supposed to be an advocate of the left's environmental agenda.

But, that raises the question: where did these reporters get the idea that Biden is going to sign off on the project?

The reports

Multiple news outlets - including the New York Times, Bloomberg News, and CNN - published reports on Friday indicating that the Biden administration has given the drilling project the go-ahead.

Bloomberg, for example, reported:

The Biden administration has decided to authorize a mammoth ConocoPhillips oil project in northwest Alaska, despite arguments by opponents that it will exacerbate climate change, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bloomberg goes on to report that the decision was made by "senior advisors" of the Biden administration "after weeks of deliberations." And, the outlet writes that the Department of the Interior is set to release the approval "next week."

"600 million barrels"

Many are enthusiastic about the news, particularly Alaskan lawmakers. And, there appears to be good reason for the enthusiasm.

Fox reports that the project "is forecasted to create thousands of jobs and 600 million barrels of oil over its 30-year lifespan."

Fox further reports that ConocoPhillips "has projected it would produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day, create more than 2,500 construction jobs and 300 long-term jobs, and deliver as much as $17 billion in revenue for the federal government, Alaska and local communities, many of which are Indigenous."

Not everyone, however, is as enthusiastic about the project. The Hill reports:

[E]nvironmental and native organizations have vocally opposed the project, calling it an environmental disaster in waiting and antithetical to the Biden administration’s decarbonization goals. A federal review of the proposal indicated that it could result in the release of just under 280 million metric tons in carbon emissions, the primary driver of climate change.

The White House backtracks

Now, the White House is trying to claim that the Biden administration has not agreed to move forward with the project.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, on Friday, said:

President Biden is delivering on the most aggressive climate agenda of any U.S. president in history and spurring an unprecedented expansion of clean energy. The Department of the Interior will make an independent decision on the Willow Project. No final decisions have been made — anyone who says there has been a final decision is wrong.

This may end up being a significant moment for the Biden administration. Will it allow the project to go forward or will it cave to the far-left? We'll see.

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