Remember the 2020 town-hall event when Biden firmly declared that there will be no further drilling on federal lands, “period”?
Emphatically, he stated that it would be "a disaster" to drill oil in the Arctic.
"A big disaster, in my view,” he added.
Earlier this week, the Biden Administration gave the go-ahead to ConocoPhillips to commence their Willow oil project in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, which is a *cough cough* federal land that lies far north of the Arctic Circle.
This news stirred up a lot of controversy, with former Vice-President & Eco-Hero Al Gore labeling it as "recklessly irresponsible" and a recipe for climate catastrophe, while Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, deemed it a "complete betrayal of Biden's promise."
The President's words that the approval of the Willow project is "a big disaster" cannot be contested. This is not only due to the destructive effects of the project, but furthermore, due to the message that it sends.
Biden should have just kept Will Smith's daughter's name out of his mouth, and the young democrats would have remained content with his lackluster policy decisions.
On Monday, approval was granted for the Willow project, which is slated to generate approximately 575 million barrels of oil over a 30-year time span. According to the Administration's calculations, the burning of this oil will generate 10 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, adding up to 300 million tons over the life of the project.
As Earth Justice reported, the total Greenhouse gas emissions would be "the equivalent of 56 million cars driven for one year, or nearly 70 coal-fired power plants operating for one year." Since the Arctic is the fastest-warming part of the planet, the Willow project itself is vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
The climate activists and progressives in his base are livid, and they have every right to be. Not only did Biden lie to them in public to promote egregious energy policy, but he represents a deceptive brand of political greenwashing that is only becoming more popular in the democratic party.
If the president can have his coal and burn it too, then why can’t future presidential candidates just follow the same playbook?
Biden's stance on drilling has been somewhat ambiguous leading up to Monday's announcement. In January 2021, immediately upon taking office, the President imposed a ban on new oil and gas leases on federal property and waters. However, a Trump-appointed judge in Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction to overturn this, but it was later reversed by a federal appeals court in New Orleans.
In the meantime, the Administration had consented to the Inflation Reduction Act, which included incentives to move away from fossil fuels and the sale of millions of acres of federal land for oil and gas drilling to provide more of these resources.
Under this plan, the Biden Administration sought to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 by creating a new, green economy.
Well, I don’t think 575 million barrels of oil and 300 million tons of carbon dioxide are going to help us get there, but that may just be my opinion.
The monumental Willow oil project--featuring over two hundred wells--is clearly in contrast to the objective of decreasing greenhouse-gas emissions.
Last year, Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, expressed that governments with earnest concerns about the climate emergency should not sponsor new investments in oil, gas, or goal at all in the future.
So why did the U.S. government grant consent to the project?
Despite the country's attempts to reduce emissions, not much progress has been made. The proposed oil project is a kind of poetic injustice almost too ironic to believe.