‘This Is Climate Denial’: Biden Goes to Bat for Massive Alaska Drilling Project Approved Under Trump

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    • #426066
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 21,304

      (Common Dreams) The Biden administration is facing backlash from climate activists and scientists after filing a court brief Wednesday in defense of a major Trump-era Alaska drilling project that’s expected to produce up to 160,000 barrels of oil a day over a 30-year period—a plan that runs directly counter to the White House’s stated goal of slashing U.S. carbon emissions.

      “This is a complete denial of reality,” said Jean Flemma, director of the Ocean Defense Initiative and former senior policy adviser for the House Natural Resources Committee. “The project is expected to produce about 590 million barrels of oil. Burning that oil would create nearly 260 million metric tons of CO2 emissions—about the equivalent of what is produced by 66 coal-fired power plants.”

      Approved by the Trump administration in October of last year, fossil fuel giant ConocoPhillips’ multi-billion-dollar Willow Master Development Plan aims to establish several new oil drilling sites in part of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve and construct hundreds of miles of pipeline.

      Environmental groups promptly sued the Trump Bureau of Land Management and Interior Department over the move, charging that the agencies signed off on Willow “despite its harms to Arctic communities, public health, and wildlife, and without a plan to effectively mitigate those harms.”

      But in a briefing submitted in the U.S. District Court for Alaska on Wednesday, Biden administration lawyers defended the Trump agencies’ decision to greenlight Willow against the environmental coalition’s legal challenge.

      “The agencies took a hard look at the Willow Project’s impacts, including impacts from the alternative proposed water crossings and impacts from building gravel roads and other infrastructure,” the filing reads. “The analysis did not suffer for lack of specific project information.”

      The Biden administration’s filing does not explain how support for the massive drilling project—a top priority of Alaska’s Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan—comports with the White House’s pledge just last month to cut U.S. carbon emissions in half by 2030.

      “This is climate denial,” author and environmentalist Naomi Klein tweeted in response to the Biden administration’s brief, which came just days after the International Energy Agency said nations must immediately stop approving new fossil fuel projects and urgently transition to renewable energy sources if the world is to avoid the worst of the climate emergency.

      A federal judge temporarily halted construction of the Willow project in February, arguing environmental groups demonstrated that “there is a strong likelihood of irreparable environmental consequences once blasting operations commence.”

      But the New York Times reported Wednesday that “oil and gas industry officials and members of Alaska’s congressional delegation, some of whom personally appealed to President Biden this week, said they believed the administration’s support would help [the drilling project] proceed” despite the legal challenges and dire warnings from climate experts.

      In what the Times described as “a paradox worthy of Kafka,” ConocoPhillips is aiming to install cooling devices in Alaska’s rapidly melting permafrost to keep the ground stable enough to support drilling that is contributing to warming temperatures.

      “When someone describes a project with words like ‘in a paradox worthy of Kafka,’ you can bet it’s not what climate action should look like,” said Trustees for Alaska, an environmental justice organization. “We’ll see the administration in court.”

      Link to original here.

      Reprinted in full with permission of the publisher. 

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #426070
      • Total Posts: 4,062

      What were you expecting?

      Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.

    • #426078
      • Total Posts: 3,446

      ..why I didn’t dance in the streets at the thought of that senile old Tory in the White House.

    • #426095
      • Total Posts: 6,277

      That’s all, really.  But hey, evidently all of this stuff is okay Because Biden Does It.

      I am around your age, @MizzGrizz, and not only did I think dancing in the streets was stupid, when Biden won, but I got a heapin’ side helpin’ of snickering, because if the Trumpsters had been doing the exact same thing, they would have been called dumb-ass for not doing the social distancing thing, garnished with a big schmear of folks hoping they would all get Covid and die.  Both parties are full of, and led by, very nasty people.  IMO, etc.

      America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

      Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.

      • #426103
        • Total Posts: 3,446

        ..@djean111,was indeed dumb.

        I didn’t dance in the streets because I well remembered the last time we danced in the streets to celebrate the defeat of a hated president.I was one of the dancers,then.But when nothing changed in the policies of Obama to Bush,even though I hung in there with the pres like a damn fool for the second term,I resolved never to be suckered again.

        I am beginning to conclude that only a minority refuse to be fooled.The rest of the public likes it.

    • #426098
      Bernie Boomer
      • Total Posts: 526

      pretending to be liberal April 27th.

      Stripping off the skin suit to reveal his true nature has taken a month, but he’s free of pesky human traits now.

    • #426104
      • Total Posts: 1,713

      8 out of the 9 top recipients of campaign donations from ConocoPhillips went to Republicans or Republican groups. The one Democrat in the top 9 — Joe Biden. Maybe $36 thousand doesn’t sound like much but it’s just shy of what Trump received, and a little more than ConocoPhillips donated to Mitch mcConnell.

      Open Secrets…



    • #426108
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 21,304

      Or words to that effect. I remember one of the big arguments was that Biden would be better on the environment. Ha! The only promise he will keep is that nothing will fundamentally change.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #426117
      • Total Posts: 1,632

      America will become a one party state by 2026.

    • #426129
      David the Gnome
      • Total Posts: 3,147

      Like utterly betraying all of them.  No doubt plenty of Democrat apologists have their excuses and justifications all worked out in their heads already.  What always struck me as absurd was the dire talk and warnings about crashing oil.

      Production and supply remained steady while demand dropped tremendously.  That is why we had such lower prices for a time – until the oil barons got together and agreed to dramatically reduce production to raise the price.

      Now as covid19 begins to fade in some areas, the costs are back up.  3.18 at the pump in my town, for regular unleaded.

      No, we don’t even need to keep drilling here.  We don’t need the supply.  We already have access to more than enough if the goal was genuinely anything close to reducing carbon emissions.

      We do not need more drilling and more pipelines.  We need to reduce consumption.  Whatever form/s of energy will be used in the future will also likely have to be at a reduced level.

      None of it has to be terrible.  If they were serious about climate change – then they would be building massive gardens and organic farms, planting tens if not hundreds of millions of trees and other vegetation.  It is not too late to do these things.

      Many of the modern things we take for granted can be done differently.  Very, very differently without having to sacrifice too much in terms of standards of living.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think that will happen until the people of this world overthrow their corrupt governments and oligarchs.  So… cutting carbon emissions?  Nope.  But what they might do instead is suppress science and fudge numbers to convince us that that is actually happening – when the opposite is true.

      They convinced millions of people that Russiagate was real, that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.  It is likely they also played a part in covering up the origins of covid19.

      So I don’t doubt that they can do more or less as they like, while using their wealth and power to humiliate and destroy anyone who attempts to blow the whistle.

      Who was punished for what Assange revealed?  For what Snowden did?  Who was held accountable for Iraq NOT having weapons of mass destruction?  The 08 recession?  The supposed near collapse of the global economy?

      Did Presidents or members of congress, or of Presidential staff go down for it?  Even though it was extremely illegal in some cases and disgustingly unethical, cruel and stupid in others?  Nope.

      In fact, the U.S. chose not long after to elect an extremely well known con artist, liar and general scammer.  What is that saying about the devil (no offense Satan) you know?

      Biden might actually be even worse than Trump in some ways.  He enables the denial of those poor fools who think the system works or gives a shit about them.

      Masks crack, eventually – and Biden never had a very good one anyway.  Sadly, tens of millions of Americans are desperate to remain ignorant.  The truth sucks… it destroys illusions and can be devastatingly painful.  But it is far better to take that pain than to go through life lying to yourself.  Eventually, you no longer recognize truth.

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