WILMINGTON (United States), March 13 (AP) — President Joe Biden will block or limit oil drilling on 16 million acres in Alaska and the Arctic Ocean, an administration official said Sunday.
The announcement is expected as early as Sunday night, as regulators prepare to announce their final decision on the Willow project, a controversial oil drilling program promoted by ConocoPhillips.
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The official requested anonymity to discuss conservation efforts ahead of the official unveiling.
The program is divided into two parts. First, Biden would ban drilling in nearly 3 million acres of the Arctic Ocean and ban oil exploration in other federal waters, the official said.
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Second, the administration will create new rules for the vast expanse of more than 13 million acres within the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve. The area includes Teshekpuk Lake, Utukok Highlands, Colville River, Kasegaluk Lagoon and Peard Bay Special Zone, the official said.
It’s unclear whether the announcement, if the government eventually announces it will allow Project Willow to move forward, will appease environmentalists, especially young activists who have been heavily critical of Project Willow on social media.
According to ConocoPhillips, Willow will be the largest new oil field in Alaska in decades, with production of up to 180,000 barrels per day. (Associated Press)
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