Alaska ShorelineInternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovA possible decision by the US president to give the green light to developing oil in Alaska will indicate his willingness to abandon his election campaign promises in order to resolve pressing economic issues, experts told Sputnik. The Biden administration is expected to approve a major oil drilling project in Alaska that “would pump as much carbon into the atmosphere as 60 coal-burning power plants,” a US media outlet has reported.The White House insisted that Biden has yet made “no final decisions” on the so-called Willow project by the US oil producer ConocoPhillips, which is worth about $8 billion.
Biden will certainly scrap his “green agenda”, which was part of his election campaign, in a bid to tackle a spate of economic issues with the help of the Willow project, Alexei Fenenko, an Associate Professor at Moscow State University, said.
He added that Americans need to launch an oil project in Alaska to “resolve their budget deficit and domestic debt, conquer certain markets, and strengthen its independence from the Middle East.”Fenenko said that one should not pay much attention to what US presidential candidates declare ahead of elections because they typically fail to deliver on their promises.”American presidents are absolutely calm about their election rhetoric, which is instantly violated. Pragmatic interests are much more important than what he [Biden] said five years ago,” the Russian expert pointed out.In this regard, he went on to say, the question is whether the US administration will be able to create an oil field in Alaska, where infrastructure has yet to be developed. This will require “certain investments” and will take time, according to Fenenko.
“This is not a one-day decision but most likely, developing oil in Alaska will be in place because the Americans are concerned about the new idea of exporting oil and gas to cover a large domestic debt,” he argued.
Fenenko was echoed by Alexander Petrov, chief researcher at the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who said that Biden’s possible go-ahead for developing oil in Alaska would be out of line with his election promises to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the US economy.Petrov suggested that Biden may give up his “green agenda”, which will indicate he is ready to change his position on the matter.“I am sure that oil production in Alaska is a very serious trump card of the Biden administration when it comes to its foreign policy,” the Russian expert concluded.Climate Activists Sound Alarm as Biden Weighs Controversial Alaska Oil Project9 July 2022, 22:52 GMTAfter the Willow project was approved by the Trump administration in 2020, a federal judge threw out the permits in August 2021, amid the Interior Department’s “substantial concerns” about the environmental impact of the project, thought to generate 180,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak.Climate groups have slammed the project as a potential “carbon bomb”, with videos from activists urging Biden to block Willow prompting a viral trend on TikTok, where the hashtag #StopWillow has garnered almost 150 million views.