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Biden limits oil drilling in Alaska and Arctic Ocean
By Sea and Coast | 13/03/2023
President Joe Biden plans to prevent or limit oil drilling in 13 million acres of Alaska and the Arctic Ocean, according to an anonymous administration official cited by the Associated Press on Sunday. The announcement comes after the Biden administration recently announced that it had not yet made a final decision on whether to approve ConocoPhillips' Willow oil project in northwest Alaska.
The plan has two parts, according to the report. First, Biden will bar drilling in nearly 3 million acres of the Arctic Ocean, closing off the rest of its federal waters from oil exploration. Then, the administration will develop new rules for over 13 million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska, which includes the Teshekpuk Lake, Utukok Uplands, Colville River, Kasegaluk Lagoon, and Peard Bay Special Areas.
Environmental groups have been pushing for the reduction of oil drilling to combat climate change, and the president's decision to limit oil drilling is seen as a victory for their efforts. The opposition to the Willow oil project has been especially strong, with environmental groups claiming that the project would endanger wildlife and damage the environment. However, the oil and gas industry and state officials have been supportive of the project, citing the need for jobs.
The move by the Biden administration to limit oil drilling in Alaska and the Arctic Ocean is part of the president's broader efforts to address climate change and transition to clean energy sources. The administration has set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and has taken several steps to reduce carbon emissions, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and proposing investments in renewable energy infrastructure.
The decision to limit oil drilling in Alaska and the Arctic Ocean is expected to face legal challenges from the oil and gas industry and state officials. However, the Biden administration has stated that it is committed to advancing its climate agenda and will continue to take action to reduce carbon emissions and transition to a clean energy economy.