USA: Joe Biden schränkt Ölförderung in Alaska ein

Die Regierung von US-Präsident Joe Biden will neue Öl- und Gasbohrungen in großen Teilen des US-Bundesstaats Alaska verbieten. Das Verbot betrifft eine Fläche von 4,3 Millionen Hektar Land – ein Gebiet so groß wie Dänemark – und rund 40 Prozent des bundeseigenen National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPRA). Die Region ist ein wichtiger Lebensraum für Eis- und Grizzlybären, für Karibus sowie Hunderttausende Zugvögel.

The statement from the US President said, „Alaska is home to many of America’s most breathtaking natural wonders and culturally significant areas. As the climate crisis is warming the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, we have a responsibility to protect this valuable region.“

The announcement came after the highly controversial approval of the so-called Willow project in the region. Despite strong criticism from environmentalists, the US Department of the Interior approved oil drilling by ConocoPhillips at three locations in the NPRA in March. Observers suggest that the new ban may also aim to defuse the massive criticism of the Willow project.

Republikaner sehen Energiesicherheit in Gefahr

The government’s new plan also limits drilling on additional large areas in Alaska, without completely banning it, and prohibits drilling on a 2.8 million-hectare area in the Beaufort Sea.

„I cannot reword“Biden würde die Energiesicherheit der USA untergraben. Das US-Innenministerium teilte indes mit, auch sieben Öl- und Gaspachtverträge aufzukündigen, die noch unter dem früheren Präsidenten Donald Trump östlich des NPRA genehmigt worden waren.

President Biden repeatedly promised during the 2020 presidential campaign that he would not allow any new oil and gas drilling on federal land during his second term, and his administration would gradually phase out the oil industry. However, lawmakers from Alaska and other supporters of the Willow project had been pushing for government approval.