US President Joe Biden approved the Willow project, which has collected more than 3 million signatures.

The Willow project involves drilling for oil and gas reserves in Alaska.

Biden approved an oil and gas project in Alaska, dubbed the Willow Project.

Oil refiner ConocoPhillips’ $8 billion bid for the Willow project has been criticized by environmental activists, though officials said it would create thousands of jobs as an opportunity for local investment. Environmental groups have argued that the project should be stopped due to its impact on climate and wildlife, and the campaign they launched has garnered more than 3 million signatures.

The White House statement said the project was guaranteed to be free of harm to whales, seals, polar bears, and areas of importance to wildlife, and indicated that drilling restrictions would be placed on 13 million acres of the vast Alaskan area. oil reserve.

The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management said in a statement that the balance was achieved by limiting drilling to three sites instead of the 5 fields requested by ConocoPhillips. In addition, 3 lawmakers representing Alaska in Congress and a Democratic congressman supported the approval of the project, arguing that it is a necessary investment for communities in the region. Lawmakers also argued that it would help increase domestic energy production and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

“This is the right decision for Alaska and our country,” said Ryan Lance, CEO of the company behind the project, ConocoPhillips, saying the project will improve energy security and benefit the people of Alaska.

It is known that the enterprise, located in the north of Alaska, has a capacity to produce 180,000 barrels of oil per day. The US Bureau of Land Management estimates that up to 278 million metric tons of carbon dioxide will be produced in the area over 30 years.

On the other hand, environmental groups critical of the project have argued that the Willow project is inconsistent with Biden’s commitment to lead climate action. Environmentalists have written millions of protest letters to the White House demanding Willow be stopped, and has collected more than 3 million signatures to stop the project.

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