The U.S. Court of Appeals has finally ruled on an offshore oil drilling project in the Arctic, polar bear protectors can now celebrate.
After Trump’s administration approved for the project in 2018 to Hillcorp Alaska, its Liberty oil project in Foggy Island Bay was immediately slapped with lawsuits decrying the permits. This decision took place on the 7th of December from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
In a statement from the Center for Biological Diversity, Earth Justice attorney Jeremy Lieb revealed following the decision
I’m pleased that the court today rejected the administration’s inaccurate and misleading analysis of this project’s impact to the climate. In the face of a worsening climate crisis, the federal government should not be in the business of approving irresponsible offshore oil development in the Arctic.Jeremy Lieb
Nicole Whittington Evans, the Program director of Defenders of Wildlife, another environmental group that filed lawsuits, revealed that:
Today’s news is a victory for Alaska’s imperiled polar bears that are threatened by oil and gas development throughout virtually all of their terrestrial denning critical habitat—in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and in the nearshore marine environment, as well.Nicole Whittington-Evans.
The prosecution argued that the Liberty project, which contained around 120 million barrels, would extract oil to be sold on the global market, decreasing prices, and allowing more nations to afford more oil, and that will bring in many more millions of metric tons of CO2 than if the oil were not extracted, and we purchased it from other countries.
The defense argued that by ensuring the highest quality environmental standards at the Liberty project, it would benefit the environment since oil wouldn’t be produced in countries with much less-stringent regulations.
The decision of the court is that the omission of foreign oil emissions estimates, poor-quality modeling which includes assumptions not proved, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to appropriately measure the risks the endangered polar bears was open to was enough to shoot down the Liberty project.