All Things Considered

Environmentalists Challenge Biden’s Approval of Massive Alaskan Oil Drilling Project

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A lone oil barrell in the tundra, most likely used for helicopter refueling during the last major mineral survey of the region in 1950.  (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

President Biden approved on Monday ConocoPhillips’ controversial Willow project in Alaska, one of the largest oil developments  ever proposed on federal land. The White House says it lacked legal latitude to cancel the project and simultaneously proposed rules that would limit other oil and gas leases in the region. But indigenous groups and climate activists say the project’s environmental and public health toll will be immense and irreversible and have sued to stop it. We’ll talk about the controversy and where the Biden administration’s environmental and energy goals stand.

Guests:

Tim Puko, climate correspondent covering politics and policy, The Washington Post

Jennifer Layke, global director of energy, World Resources Institute

John Leshy, professor of law, UC College of the Law, San Francisco; Interior Department’s solicitor under President Bill Clinton

Yessenia Funes, climate director, Atmos - a climate and culture magazine

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