(LibertySociety.com) – The Biden administration is facing a lawsuit from several environmental organizations over his approval of an oil drilling project in Alaska called the Willow Project. The Trump administration initially approved the project, but it was halted by a federal judge in 2021, who ordered a broader study of the climate effects before proceeding. Democrats were disappointed that the Biden administration defended the project in court, which has now turned into anger and lawsuits since the Department of Interior officially announced the approval of a scaled back version of the project on March 13th, 2023.
The nonprofit organization EarthJustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other groups, listing Deb Haaland, the Secretary of the Department of Interior, as a defendant, in addition to several other agencies and officials. The group issued a press release about the decision to approve the Willow Project, with Friends of the Earth legal director Hallie Templeton stating her network was “enraged that the administration has again approved Willow.” They and the other groups involved are disappointed that the Biden administration chose to move forward with the project, ignoring options that they say would be less harmful to the environment.
The project received unanimous approval from the legislature of the state of Alaska, as well as the Alaska Federation of Natives, who cite the lengthy review process that shows the benefits of the project moving forward. In a press briefing, Senator Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, stated that he knew there would be lawsuits filed as soon as the decision was announced, which he has already been preparing for. Despite activists labeling the project as a “carbon bomb,” Sullivan indicated it would produce the lowest possible emissions in a statement on the matter.
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