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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Some Democrats are disappointed with the Biden administration’s decision to approve the Willow oil drilling project in Alaska.

“We have to go all in on clean energy,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) said.

President Joe Biden is facing backlash from Democrats, like Bowman, for giving the green light to the project.

“This is the equivalent of putting two million cars back on our highways,” Bowman said.

The Willow Project, in Alaska’s North Slope, is expected to produce 180,000 barrels of oil a day.
Bowman says that reverses progress made by climate reform in the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Why are we taking these two huge steps back right now and drilling for more oil,” Bowman said.

Bowman says the decision shows how much power oil companies still have.

“The fossil fuel lobby wields incredible money and incredible power into the Democratic party and into members of Congress,” Bowman said.

On the other hand, the oil industry says the Willow Project will provide a much-needed boost to American energy and the local economy.

“It provides generational economic stability for the Alaskan people,” API Senior Communications VP Megan Bloomgren said.

Even though Bloomgren celebrates the approval, she isn’t happy with the administration’s simultaneous announcement to cut off 16 million acres from future oil and gas development.

“I think that’s a troubling move at a time when the administration has been calling on American energy producers to produce more energy,” Bloomgren said.

Bloomgren says energy is safer and cleaner when it’s produced in the U.S.