(USNewsMag.com) – The Alaskan ConocoPhillips Willow oil drilling project was approved by the Biden administration March 13. A 30-year project, the Willow oil drilling project will be in North Slope Borough, Alaska, in the National Petroleum Reserve, which is federally owned. Three of the five proposed drilling sites were approved by the Interior Department.
As part of the agreement to approve the three sites, the administration will reject two other proposed sites and a proposed road that leads to one of the sites. Also, ConocoPhillips is set forfeit drilling rights to another site, totaling 67,000 acres, with a separate project.
President Joe Biden is also set to announce new protections for the National Petroleum Reserve, which would protect 16 million acres of land and water in Alaska from future drilling.
Once constructed, the project is expected to be able to hold 600 million barrels of oil and produce 180,000 barrels of oil each day.
According to ConocoPhillips, the project will create 300 permanent jobs as well as roughly 2,500 construction jobs. Construction of multiple pipelines, a gravel mine, a central processing plant, an airport and up to 250 wells will be part of the project.
The approval of the project is seen by the bipartisan congressional delegation in Alaska as a victory for new jobs and revenue. While seen as hurting Biden’s climate goals by those who disapprove of the project.
Initially approved by the Trump administration in 2020, the permits were thrown out by a federal judge for finding fault in the way the federal government had assessed its environmental impact in August 2021 after outcry from climate activist groups.
Climate activist groups have referred to the Willow oil drilling project as a potential “carbon bomb,” saying it would produce a carbon footprint equal to two million cars.
The approval of the project is expected to be challenged in court by environmental advocates.
Copyright 2023, USNewsMag.com