Biden Approves Willow Pipeline: Democrats Won’t End Climate Change

On March 13th, the Biden Administration announced that they had approved “Project Willow.” Despite pledging to not approve any new oil pipeline projects during the 2020 election, Biden has clearly given in to his true constituency, the fossil fuel industry and other sections of the capitalist class who will be made even richer by this project. This announcement came just days before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, which states that major action to reduce fossil fuel emissions is needed right now in order to mitigate the most catastrophic effects of climate change, including extreme weather events like floods, droughts, heatwaves, and hurricanes, along with the social upheaval that will accompany these events. The new report says that climate collapse could occur in as little as 10 years. 

This massive oil development project in Alaska would produce over 576 millions barrels of oil over the next 30 years, which translates to 239 million metric tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere. Despite Biden’s so-called progressive stance on the climate, this move will only increase the dependence on fossil fuels in the world’s energy infrastructure, bring profits to the biggest institutional opponents of action against climate change – the fossil fuel industry – and further degrade the environmental health of the planet. 

In Alaska today, climate change is already melting the permafrost where many people’s homes sit, forcing thousands to relocate to solid ground. Thawing permafrost also releases methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere, hastening the rapid warming of the planet. 

The effects of Project Willow will be felt around the world, where working class people are killed and displaced by severe climate related weather events, famines and droughts, heat waves, and more. 

The leadership of some unions have praised the project for creating jobs, but instead unions should be campaigning for massive expansion of green energy and mass transit to create green jobs. 

Capitalism has no answer to the climate crisis. Capitalists will always put profit before saving the environment and the lives of regular working class people as long as they hold power over society. To end their rule, workers need to get organized and form an independent working class party which could help build a movement against capitalism, and for radical action to fight the climate crisis. It’s especially key to organize workers in polluting industries around a program for free retraining and placement in alternative, green jobs. Environmentalist organizations which are serious about stopping the climate crisis must break with the Democratic party, and help mobilize an independent working class movement against climate change. We need a democratically planned economy, where workers have the power to transition away from dirty energy and industry.

To join ISG in our work for an independent worker’s party, and for a mass movement of workers and youth for climate justice, and a socialist transformation of society, reach out to us at [email protected].

Image Credit: Gillfoto via Wikimedia // (CC BY-SA 4.0)