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Part of the Alpine Oil Field. North Slope, Alaska

Part of the Alpine Oil Field. North Slope, Alaska. | Photo credit: Paxson Woelber

The Biden Administration Approves Controversial Alaska Oil Project

March 14, 2023

The Biden Administration Approves Controversial Alaska Oil Project

Ask Students: How much oil might be produced from Project Willow? What are some of the reasons opponents of the project have argued against approval?

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Summary

The Biden administration officially approved a controversial oil drilling project in Alaska known as Willow. It is expected to produce some 600 million barrels of crude oil over the next three decades. Supporters hail the energy and jobs it would create while opponents say it would accelerate emissions and the climate crisis. Liz Ruskin of Alaska Public Media joined Amna Nawaz to discuss.

For a transcript of this story, click here.

Remote video URL

Summary

  • Who is interviewed for this story, and what is her background?
  • Where is the oil project set to  be developed?
  • How much oil might be produced from the new project?
  • What are some of the reasons opponents of the project have argued against approval?
  • Why did the Biden administration approve the project?

Focus Questions

Journalist Liz Ruskin says that many in Alaska are in favor of the oil drilling project, but some oppose it including both environmentalists and the Native American tribe that lives closest to the proposed site of drilling. What rights do you think the impacted tribe should have in determining the approval of such a project?

Media Literacy: Why do you think the reporters chose Liz Ruskin specifically to interview for this story?

Extension Activity

Read this article about the Biden Administration and the Willow project and write out two columns. In one column, list the interests lined up behind the project (all those who support it and why) and in the other column, write out all the interests opposing the project. Then discuss: How did the Biden administration try to appeal to the interests in both columns?

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