It would be the largest new oil field in many decades. It could provide as much as 2 percent of all oil required by the United States. It would also be large enough to make a substantial difference in the global oil price. This would deal yet another blow to Vladimir Putin’s crumbling war machine in Ukraine.
In the coming weeks, President Joe Biden will approve the Willow Project, an enormous new Alaskan fossil fuel development. Despite fierce protests from environmentalists, Biden decided that oil is still needed in the United States and around the globe.
Why can’t the UK approve new energy projects if the left-leaning and climate-friendly Biden does it? Biden could not be accused of being a climate-denying reactionary. Yet, in the US, unlike Europe, there is still some connection between energy debate and reality.
It recognizes that switching to renewable energy will be a long and expensive process. You will still need oil and gas, and it is better to produce it than import it from Saudi Arabia.
There are plenty of oil and gas reserves in the UK. Perhaps it’s time for the UK to learn from Biden and open new fields.
President Biden does not ignore climate change nor are they in hock to oil companies. He is spending so many dollars on the US to put it at the forefront of the transition to green energy, that every country in the world is complaining.
He is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on everything from subsidies for electric cars to investments in wind and solar energy to building the infrastructure to carbon neutral heating, industrial, and transport systems. The Biden White House is serious about this matter in every way you can imagine.
Yet, he is about approve the largest new oil field in many years. ConocoPhillips, an energy giant, has led the Willow Project in Alaska. It can produce 180,000 barrels per day of oil, which is 1.5 percent of the US total energy requirements.
The additional third will increase Alaska’s annual oil production. There has been a lot of outcry from environmentalists. Opposition petitions have attracted more than a million signatures and there are accusations that Biden is violating his election promise not to allow oil drilling on federal land. (This, however, does have an element truth).
Despite all this, the president seems poised to approve the project. The drilling could begin before the end the year.
If the United States can develop new fossil fuels without having to rely on energy, why shouldn’t the UK?
It’s about being realistic. It takes time to develop renewable energy capacity. We will need years to switch from heating systems and cars into electricity.
We will need oil and gas in the interim, so we may as well make it ourselves. This would create wealth, jobs, and tax revenue, rather than buying it from Russia and Saudi Arabia. This is obvious in Washington. Unfortunately, that is still not true in London.
The UK should get over its obstinate opposition to new energy production. Producers in the North Sea have been harassed, taxed, and forced to cease being.
Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish government tried everything to prevent new licenses from being approved. Despite the fact that it is one of our most important industries, The sector has been subject to windfall taxes, and the Labour Party is calling for them to be higher.
When oil giants like BP or Shell announce huge profits, it is not surprising that they face stiffer levies. As a result, many projects were put on hold and investments stalled.
Last year Shell stated that it was reviewing (corporate talk for scrapping) the North Sea money, as has Equinor in Norway. If output is declining, we can’t complain.
Fracking’s record is even worse. It allowed the US to become independent in energy and even though Texas has not been shaken by earthquakes, it was effectively banned in this country despite the vast amounts of shale oil in the North.
Liz Truss’s pro-growth government was briefly revived by opposition. What did the result? The UK is in a severe energy deficit, importing PS2 trillion more oil per month than it exports. Who cares? It is cheaper to buy energy from Qatar or from Biden’s America than to produce it ourselves.
This is absurd. It doesn’t matter where the oil is extracted.
Green technology is not a result of reducing oil capacity. This puts us at risk for shortages when there is not enough. Biden has at least the courage to realize that we will still require oil for a while, and it may as well be American oil rather than any other.
This might seem too much for anyone responsible for British energy policy, but it is time to learn from Washington and approve some new energy projects in the country.