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Administration Backs Smaller-Scale Oil-Drilling Project

The Biden administration is supporting a scaled-down version of a key oil-drilling project in Alaska, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

What’s going on: “The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management issued a final supplemental environmental-impact statement Wednesday that recommends shrinking the project to three drilling sites down from the five ConocoPhillips initially proposed.”

  • The greenlighted version of the project, known as Willow, includes less surface-infrastructure construction in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve than is called for in the original plan. 

Why it’s important: The project area is estimated to hold 600 million barrels of oil, more than is currently in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And drilling at the energy-rich site is in line with the administration’s repeated directives to the oil-and-gas sector.

What’s next: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will make the final decision on the project. Her approval is expected no sooner than 30 days from the impact statement’s publication.

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