Trump approved it and Biden defended it, but on Wednesday U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason vacated permits for ConocoPhillips to build a planned oil project in Alaska that could have produced 160,000 barrels of oil a day. ConocoPhillips' Willow Project included three drill sites, processing facilities, gravel roads, pipelines according to NBC News.
The judge said the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's environmental study was flawed and that it had developed its "alternatives analysis based on the view that ConocoPhillips has the right to extract all possible oil and gas on its leases." She also voided a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report for being vague about the impact of the project on polar bears. In its report, the Fish and Wildlife Service said the project "was not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of polar bears and not likely to result in the adverse modification of polar bear critical habitat."
People who care about the planet and life on it hailed the ruling a victory. The Wilderness Society called it "a step toward protecting public lands and the people who would be most negatively impacted by the BLM's [U.S. Bureau of Land Management's] haphazard greenlighting of the Willow project."
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, said the decision was "horrible," and that "a federal judge trying to shelve a major oil project on American soil does one thing: outsources production to dictatorships & terrorist organizations."
Many Alaskans favor oil drilling in the state because each resident gets a yearly bribe of $1,600 a year from the oil industry to allow it to extract, process, and transport oil without being hassled.