President Joe Biden has done an about-face on allowing domestic oil drilling, the Daily Caller reported. The administration will permit ConocoPhillips to drill in three Alaskan locations, to the chagrin of environmentalists.
Conoco first proposed the $8 billion endeavor in 2018. It was approved in 2020, but a federal judge overturned that decision on the grounds that the government needed further environmental impact studies.
The drilling could produce as many as 180,000 barrels of crude oil daily, accounting for 1.6% of domestic oil production to date. Conoco's project, dubbed Willow, would yield about 600 million barrels of oil for the company.
Sources say that the Department of the Interior will release its official decision to approve it by next week. The energy company had originally picked five sites, but the Bureau of Land Management instead put forth a "preferred alternative," which Conoco adopted.
The Alaskan legislature provided solid bipartisan support for the effort. Some Native Alaskan tribes were similarly on board with the additional revenue and jobs Willow would create for the state, while others voiced concerns about health and climate impacts.
However, radical environmentalists are apoplectic about the forthcoming project. “The proposed expansion of oil and gas drilling in Alaska is recklessly irresponsible," infamous environmental grifter Al Gore said.
"The pollution it would generate will not only put Alaska native and other local communities at risk, it is incompatible with the ambition we need to achieve a net zero future," the former vice president and failed Democratic presidential candidate predicted. However, considering his track record, this seems unlikely.
The left-leaning environmentalist Sierra Club also called Conoco's drilling a "climate disaster waiting to happen" in a social media post. "This MUST not be the case [President Biden]," a tweet from the organization said in reaction to the headline about the approval.
"The Willow project is a climate disaster waiting to happen that would devastate wildlife, lands, AK communities, and our climate. We need to speed our transition to clean energy, not double-down on oil and gas."
The Sierra Club has made railing against human progress into a cottage industry. Still, in recent years, the group has branched out into claiming that racism is also "killing the planet," thereby confirming its rabid leftist bent.
Notably, Alaskan state Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) has called out at least one group opposing the project as a possible mouthpiece for the Chinese government. The Colorado-based Conservation Lands Foundation has initiated a hashtag campaign against the Willow project on the Chinese-owned TikTok platform.
Despite Biden's promises to be environmentally conscious, the president is stuck between a rock and a hard place after eliminating other drilling projects sending energy prices soaring. He had released barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices, but is now tasked with replenishing the supply at an even higher cost, Politico reported.
An official also explained that Biden is facing more problems as the war in Ukraine continues to drag on. "There’s still quite a bit of volatility in the system," the official said, noting a "buyback will take months, it will take years."
The fact that Biden is allowing more drilling is a net positive for Americans squeezed by energy price hikes. However, it's clear that we got here in the first place because of Biden's incompetence and pandering -- and there's no guarantee he can do enough to counteract that.