Biden administration approves controversial Alaska oil drilling project

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from NBCNews,

The Interior Department on Monday announced the approval of a modified version of oil giant ConocoPhillips’ proposal to drill in the National Petroleum Reserve.

The project had received forceful pushback from environmentalists, who pointed to its potential climate and environmental effects. The Native American community closest to the site has also opposed the project, though others have supported it.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a statement that she could almost “feel Alaska’s future brightening” after the administration’s announcement. ConocoPhillips estimated that the project could create more than 2,500 construction jobs and about 300 long-term jobs.

Nagruk Harcharek, president of the Voice of Arctic Iñupiat, a nonprofit that addresses issues that affect the North Slope Iñupiat, praised the administration’s decision, saying it will grow the tax base that supports the communities on the North Slope.

But Ben Jealous, executive director of the Sierra Club, said the harm the project will cause “may not ever be able to be undone. This is the equivalent of putting dozens and dozens of coal-fired power plants back online. It makes it almost impossible to understand how the administration will ever meet its promises to reduce emissions from public lands.”

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