BOISE, Idaho: Contrary to earlier commitments to end oil drilling by the Biden administration, US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has defended her department’s approval of the Willow oil project.
“We’re not going to turn the faucet off and say we’re not drilling anymore, Haaland said before journalists.
Haaland made her comments while speaking before the Society of Environmental Journalists. The Biden administration is “following the science and the law when it comes to everything we do, and that includes gas and oil leases considered by her agency, which oversees U.S. public lands and waters, Haaland said.
“We’re not going to say we’re not going to use gas and oil. That’s not reality, Haaland said. “So we are doing the best we absolutely can.
The Biden administration has come under criticism from climate activists after approving the $8 billion Willow project on March 13.
The drilling is to be undertaken by oil giant ConocoPhillips and has the potential to produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day in Alaska.
While a member of Congress, Haaland opposed Willow.
She recently said that as Interior secretary, “often I don’t have personal feelings.
“We’re in a climate crisis everyone, and so we are taking that part very seriously, she told reporters.