Known as “Willow,” the $8 billion plan led by ConocoPhillips, is forecast to produce around 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. In response Sunrise Movement Executive Director Varshini Prakash said in a statement that “President Biden’s decision to move forward with the Willow Project abandons the millions of young people who overwhelmingly came together to demand he stop the project and protect our futures.” Oil from the three Willow drill sites won’t flow for 6 years and will take place inside the petroleum reserve, the largest single expanse of untouched land in the U.S.

Biden’s approval of this is “a colossal and reprehensible stain on his environmental legacy”, Raena Garcia, fossil fuels campaigner at Friends of the Earth told The Guardian. U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez added, “the voices of the people of Nuiqsut, our frontline communities, and the irrefutable science that says we must stop building projects like this to slow the ever more devastating impacts of climate change.”

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