Editors of the Washington Examiner urge readers not to fall for President Biden’s latest political maneuver.

Environmentalists justifiably feel betrayed by President Joe Biden. As a candidate, he promised, “No more drilling on federal lands. Period. Period. Period.” But last week, the president broke that promise by approving an oil project in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve that could produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil a day and employ 2,500 workers.

We’re glad he did, but you can understand why climate activists at San Francisco-based Earthjustice were furious and called the project’s approval “a carbon bomb.”

The reasoning for Biden’s flip-flop on oil production isn’t a big mystery. The Progressive Policy Institute’s Paul Bledsoe frankly characterized the decision-making process: “I think the White House feels the president has strong climate credentials but that he does need to reach out to working-class voters in swing states who care about gasoline prices.” In other words, it was cynical political calculation; Biden didn’t have a Damascene conversion on the road to Alaska’s North Slope.

Biden’s decision to greenlight this one project, hundreds of miles away from Alaska’s biggest city, deep in the frozen tundra, has nothing to do with some technocratic weighing of carbon emissions and oil prices. It has everything to do with winning over centrist voters in the Midwest.

It’s the headline that matters, not the actual policy, which is why voters should be wary and wait to see if Biden follows through and makes sure this project becomes reality. For, on the same day Biden announced the Willow project, he also banned oil development in the Beaufort Sea and the construction of any new pipelines to the Petroleum Reserve.

This still leaves open the possibility that Biden will block oil companies from developing the Willow project by denying them the permits they need to connect new wells to existing oil and gas pipelines in the area.