Economy v. climate change: Panel debates Alaska oil project

  • The Biden administration approved an oil drilling project in Alaska
  • Supporters: It represents an economic lifeline for Indigenous communities
  • Environmentalists: It's a disaster in the fight against global climate change

(NewsNation) —The Biden administration is set to approve a massive oil project in northern Alaska that supporters say represents an economic lifeline for Indigenous communities in the region but environmentalists say is counter to President Joe Biden’s climate goals.

Kara Moriarty, CEO of Alaska Oil & Gas Association, said the project is an important step.

“The world needs more oil; the demand for oil is not going away. The world is going to consume 70 million barrels a day, for the next decade. Would you rather it come from a place like Alaska where we have high environmental standards, or a place like Russia that does not,” she said.

Meanwhile, climate activist David Fenton disagrees and says it will further shift and impact weather patterns.

“When you make the atmosphere warmer by burning oil and trapping heat on Earth, it holds more moisture, so you have stronger storms. So, this is a disaster, not for the Democrats or environmentalists, this threatens our economy,” he said.

ConocoPhillips’ Willow project would produce 180,000 barrels of oil a day at its peak, and using that crude would result in at least 263 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years.


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