Biden’s approval of a huge oil development in northern Alaska caused rise in online activism among environmentalists, who filed a legal challenge against the decision in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska. “Interior attempted to put a shiny gloss over a structurally unsound decision that will, without question, result in a massive fossil fuel project that will reduce access to food and cultural practices for local communities,” Bridget Psarianos, lead attorney for Trustees for Alaska, said in a statement.
The groups filing the lawsuit are the Alaska Wilderness League, the Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Environment America, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic.
“This new decision allows ConocoPhillips to pump out massive amounts of greenhouse gasses that drive continued climate devastation in the Arctic and world. The laws broken on the way to these permits demonstrate the government’s disregard for those who would be most directly harmed by industrial pollution and ignores Alaska’s and the world’s climate reality.” The Willow oil project is estimated to produce about 600 million barrels of oil over 30 years and will generate the climate pollution equivalent of what roughly 66 new coal-fired power plants emit each year. The project galvanized an uprising of online activism against it, with more than one million letters written to the White House in protest. The International Energy Agency has warned that any new drilling investments must be stopped for the U.S. to achieve its 2050 goal of net-zero emissions. (Reuters, CNN, Axios, Politico $, E&E $, Vox, New Yorker, Online Activism: CNN )