Letters to the Editor: Biden’s approval of the Willow project is a betrayal. Keep oil in the ground

Climate activists hold a demonstration urging President Biden to reject the Willow Project in Washington on Nov. 17.
Climate activists in Washington on Nov. 17 urge President Biden to reject the Willow Project.
(Jemal Countess / Getty Images )

To the editor: Strip away the hypocrisy and the self-serving claims of those who will benefit from the Willow oil-drilling project in Alaska, which the Biden administration just approved.

This is business as usual — fossil fuel money buying influence and extending its corporate run at the expense of the planet and its inhabitants.

The climate crisis is far advanced, and we are approaching critical thresholds. There is no time for a “balanced” approach. The Interior secretary may have been silent, but climate activists of all stripes were appropriately ticked (“quick condemnation,” “fuming” and “betrayal”).


Inform yourself about the cliff we are racing toward, and help resist this project. Keep the oil in the ground, where it is harmless.

Gary Stewart, Laguna Beach


To the editor: Thank you for your balanced coverage of the decision on the Willow project.

It was another nail in the threatened coffin of our future, a catch-22 for President Biden and a blow to America’s aspirations for global climate leadership. However, I believe Biden crafted the best possible outcome. His climate promises were victims of legal necessities, and he won significant battles for the environment in the struggle.

I do regret that so many politicians and citizens praised the decision and gave temporary jobs and economic gain higher priority than a livable climate and healthy environment.

We can and must stop burning fossil fuels. State and local governments, businesses and ordinary people are working toward that goal, and climate change is no longer a political issue in Congress. The game is far from over.

Carol Steinhart, Madison, Wis.


To the editor: Extracting undeveloped fossil fuels anywhere is a tough call. Essential products of steel, cement, ammonia and plastics all require fossil fuels for production at scale and speed.

Also, fossil fuels are required to transport goods around the world. Alternatives do not yet exist for a planet of 8 billion people.

Renewable alternatives (wind turbines, solar panels and batteries) require massive amounts of toxic metals, obtained from mines, the most environmentally damaging creation of humankind.

Unfortunately, burning fossil fuels to support our economic system of infinite growth and profits releases massive amounts of greenhouse gases, with life-threatening consequences. Already we’ve exploited nature’s resources beyond its limits and used the world as a free massive garbage dump.

The sane decision is to leave all undeveloped fossil fuel in the ground and use the oil we’ve already developed to transition to a more survivable world.

Phil Beauchamp, Chino Hills