Climate groups issue a response to Willow Project Decision

    An exploration site at ConocoPhillips' Willow prospect is seen from the air in the 2019 winter season. (Photo by Judy Patrick/provided by ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc.)

    Alaska (KINY) - Following the Biden Administration's decision to move forward with the willow project, multiple environmentalist groups have released a statement regarding the decision.

    Here is the statement issued by the activist groups:

    Today the Biden administration approved ConocoPhillips’ Willow project in the western Arctic of Alaska, locking in oil and gas drilling and massive greenhouse gas emissions for decades. The decision undermines Biden’s climate promises and again demonstrates how political and industry interests put “business as usual” before the health of people and the planet.
    Authorization of the project comes after a deficient supplemental environmental review process that failed to assess the intense and cumulative impacts of the project on Arctic communities, lands and water, wildlife, and the global climate. The harm to communities and climate will be massive as the project turns into the industrial hub ConocoPhillips has always sought.  
    Overwhelming public and scientific input have demonstrated that Willow poses a serious threat to the Arctic region. Willow will pollute water and air, disrupt animal migrations, destroy habitat, and result in the release of around 239 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses over the project’s 30-year lifespan. The resulting infrastructure is expected to result in additional development that would magnify Willow’s negative environmental impacts.
    If built, Willow will be the largest new oil extraction project on federal lands in the United States. It will have devastating impacts to the entire western Arctic region, posing serious health, environmental, and food security threats to nearby Alaska Native communities.
    Since the final supplemental environmental impact statement was released in early February, more than 5.6 million petition comments asked the Biden administration to stop Willow. On March 3, Alaskans joined other Americans in a rally opposing Willow and the climate disaster it will accelerate. Indigenous leaders and groups from Alaska traveled to Washington D.C. to urge Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and other administration officials to stop Willow, and to again counter the false narrative told by Alaska’s political leaders that everyone in Alaska Native communities and Alaska supports the project.
    The approval of Willow is a giant step backwards in addressing the climate crisis. Today, the Biden administration bowed to industry and political power rather than prioritizing land protections, Indigenous communities, and meaningful climate action and leadership.  

    Here are all of the groups that are included with the statement:

    Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic
    Northern Alaska Environmental Center
    Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition
    Alaska Community Action on Toxics
    Alaska Wilderness League
    Trustees for Alaska
    Evergreen Action
    The Wilderness Society
    Environment America
    Friends of the Earth
    Conservation Lands Foundation
    Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
    Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    Alaska Soles, Great Old Broads for Wilderness
    Sierra Club
    WE ACT for Environmental Justice
    Natural Resources Defense Council
    Interfaith Power & Light
    Defenders of Wildlife
    Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action
    Center for Biological Diversity
    NDN Collective
    Pacific Environment


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