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Federal judge rules Willow oil project can proceed in Alaska

Demonstrators protested the approval of the Willow project. Associated Press/Photo by Patrick Semansky

Federal judge rules Willow oil project can proceed in Alaska

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled against environmental groups that challenged the Biden administration’s approval of the oil drilling project. President Joe Biden approved the ConocoPhillips project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in March. Environmental groups argued that the government failed to analyze how emissions from the project could affect indigenous animal species. Gleason ruled that the federal government had sufficiently studied the project’s environmental impacts and that the company had the right to develop its leases.

How big is the project? The company said the project is expected to extract about 600 million barrels of oil over 30 years. Alaskan officials say the plan will generate about 2,500 jobs and, over time, billions of dollars in revenue for the state. Former President Donald Trump first approved the project in 2020, but it was sent back to the Biden administration for further evaluation. 

Dig deeper: Read Carolina Lumetta’s report in The Stew about the public reaction to the Willow project.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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