Associations file a complaint against the authorization of an oil project in Alaska
The Willow exploration site located in northern Alaska is operated by oil company ConocoPhillips.
Six environmental associations announced on Tuesday that they would continue the US government after its authorization the day before of the large Willow oil project in northwestern Alaska.
The administration of President Joe Biden authorized this project despite acknowledging and failing to reduce harms to Arctic populations, public health, wildlife and climate, one of the six associations, Sierra Club, said in a statement.
The complaint targets the Department of the Interior, which is responsible for federal lands in the United States, as well as several government agencies. She accuses them in particular of not having considered alternatives to better mitigate the harmful effects of the project.
The operation will be located in an area called the National Petroleum Reserve, land owned by the US state, on which the oil giant ConocoPhillips has concessions.
The project was scaled back after an analysis of its environmental consequences by the Biden administration: it was reduced to three drilling areas from the five initially requested by the company, the ministry had argued. Inside Monday.
But it will, despite everything, over its 30 years of operation, result in the indirect emission of the equivalent of 239 million tonnes of CO2, according to the Ministry of the Interior's own calculations.
The plan adopted by President Biden calls for three drilling areas, or more than 200 wells in total.
According to the complainant associations, the project still violates the same laws as in 2021, when they obtained that the project initially approved by the administration of Donald Trump be temporarily stopped by a judge, and returned for further government review.
Environmental activists were thus betting on a decision in their favor of Democrat Joe Biden, who came to power by promising not to authorize new oil and gas drilling on federal lands.
Faced with the authorization granted despite everything, they accused him of going against his commitments.
But the economic stakes are enormous. Project Willow advocates argue that it will be a major source of jobs, and a contribution to US energy independence, forever. highly dependent on oil.
We stand ready to defend this decision against probable and frivolous association lawsuits, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan said Monday, shortly after the clearance was announced.