USA: Oil exploitation project in Alaska state faces legal challenges

The exploratory drilling area at the proposed Willow oil project site in the Alaskan Arctic. (Source: AP)

On March 14, a number of environmental groups filed a lawsuit in the court to find ways to prevent it Willow oil drilling project in bang Alaska (USA), one day after goverment American approved this controversial project.

Specifically, six environmental groups have filed a lawsuit in the District Court in the state of Alaska, alleging that the Department of the Interior and related agencies violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Federal District Court. Endangered Species (ESA) and other laws when authorizing projects.

Mike Scott of the Sierra Club, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, argued that the Willow project would pose a threat to wildlife, ecosystems and communities in the Alaskan Arctic.

[Nhà Trắng thông qua dự án dầu Alaska trước những chỉ trích về khí hậu]

This project, once operational, will have negative impacts on the climate for decades to come.

Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan said legal efforts to block the Willow project were expected.

Mr. Sullivan affirmed his readiness to defend the government’s decisions against legal challenges and objections from NGOs.

A day earlier, the US Department of the Interior had “green light” for energy giant ConocoPhillips to deploy oil drilling operations at three locations in the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, within the framework of the Willow project. .

Many environmental groups have urged President Joe Biden to scrap the project.

During the race for the White House in 2022, Mr. Biden pledged not to approve any new oil and gas exploration contracts on public land.

Alaska lawmakers support the passage of the oil exploration plan, saying that this is an opportunity to create thousands of jobs and contribute to America’s self-sufficiency in energy supply, with oil production reaching a peak of 180,000. bpd, or about 576 million barrels over 30 years.

However, according to calculations by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Willow project will discharge 239 million tons co2 gas to the environment over the next 30 years, equivalent to the annual emissions of 64 coal-fired power plants.

President Biden pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 2005 to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Linh To (VNA/Vietnam+)