Center for American Progress

Center for American Progress: 5 Reasons the Willow Oil Drilling Project Would Fail To Lower Gas Prices and Only Benefit Big Oil

With elevated global energy prices as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, opportunistic politicians, pundits, and trade associations have called for an increase in domestic oil and gas development. In particular, proponents of the Willow oil drilling project—a massive Arctic drilling proposal from ConocoPhillips—are citing “inflation, high energy costs, [and] the need for energy security” as reasons to approve the project. These arguments are false. The United States currently produces more than twice as many barrels of oil per day as it produced in 2008 and is exporting record amounts of oil to other countries. The Willow project would be an especially poor solution for high energy costs. In fact, it is a climate disaster in the making: By investing in a dirty energy future and contributing to climate change, devastating Alaska and the rest of the world, the project threatens to make everything more expensive.

Anchorage Daily News

Anchorage Daily News: Environmental groups sue to stop federal approval of exploration at Alaska oil project

Environmental groups are suing the Biden administration over its approval of a five-year exploration program at the Peregrine oil field, a potentially huge prospect on Alaska’s North Slope being explored by a small Australian company. The groups assert that the Bureau of Land Management violated federal law because environmental assessments for the project did not consider greenhouse gas emissions that could be burned as the oil is used, according to the 36-page complaint. The agency began approving work at the prospect in 2020, the lawsuit says.


Truthout: Big oil wants to refreeze Alaska permafrost — so it can keep drilling there

If ConocoPhillips gets its way, there will soon be chillers on the Alaskan tundra, refreezing the ground so that it can support new oil drilling equipment. The Arctic permafrost is melting so fast, the company explains, that this perverse techno-solution is necessary. Nothing better expresses the cruel absurdity at the heart of ConocoPhillips’s “Willow Project” — its 30-year plan to extract hundreds of millions of barrels of crude from ecologically sensitive lands of the far North.


Grist: Interior Department backtracks on public comment period for Willow project

For more than three weeks, the Alaska Native Village of Nuiqsut, Congressional Democrats, and conservation groups have been urging the Department of the Interior to extend the public comment period on a draft environmental impact statement for one of the largest proposed onshore oil and gas development projects in the United States. If approved, the ConocoPhillips venture, known as the Willow Project, would allow for construction of up to 250 wells, a network of gravel roads and pipelines, and a new central processing facility in the government-managed National Petroleum Reserve, about 35 miles west of Nuiqsut.

Daily Kos

Daily Kos: Interior Department screws Alaska community to be most harmed by proposed Willow oil and gas project

Residents in Nuiqsut, Alaska can’t seem to catch a break from the Interior Department when it comes to pushing back against a proposed oil and gas project that has the potential to harm the community. The city is located just 35 miles from ConocoPhillips’ proposed Willow project which, if approved, would add dozens of wells to Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve along with infrastructure meant to support the production of “nearly 600 million barrels of oil from 2024 to 2050,” according to the Alaska Wilderness League.

Daily Kos

Daily Kos: Oil and gas companies pull out all the lobbying stops to keep profits high and the planet suffering

Oil and gas lobbying efforts appear to be bouncing back from 2021’s 10-year low. OpenSecrets reported last week that companies spent more than $63.5 million in the first half of 2022 on lobbying, representing an 11% increase compared with that same time period last year. One of the primary culprits is ConocoPhillips, which has been eyeing a massive oil-drilling project in Alaska dubbed Willow. Recent findings from a draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement—and support from lawmakers ultimately in the pocket of ConocoPhillips—suggests that Willow could ultimately become a reality.

New York Times

NYT: Climate change is not negotiable

The president and his interior secretary, Deb Haaland, could help further by bringing clarity to the administration’s policies on oil and gas drilling, which right now are confusing. Mr. Biden pledged in his campaign to halt new oil and gas leasing on federal lands, which is a significant cause of greenhouse gas emissions. That promise seems long ago and far away. Interior’s recent five-year offshore drilling plan opens the possibility of leasing in parts of the Gulf of Mexico, while a recent environmental impact statement does not foreclose, as environmentalists had hoped, the Willow Project, ConocoPhillips’s proposed development of oil and gas resources in the fragile Western Arctic.

The Hill

The Hill: President Biden can (still) diffuse the climate bomb in America’s Arctic

Although President Biden’s larger climate agenda teeters on the razor’s edge of congressional negotiations, he faces an enormous climate opportunity in America’s Arctic. All eyes are on the president to deliver on his climate promises, now that the chance at climate legislation seems to be slipping away yet again. The resident finds himself in an increasingly hot seat to address the climate crisis on all fronts — and the ticking climate bomb that only the White House can diffuse is a development proposal so massive it would equal the annual output of nearly one-third of U.S. coal power plants.


Bloomberg: Manchin’s climate move spurs talk of Biden pivot on fossil fuels

Sen. Joe Manchin’s decision to put the brakes on climate legislation until the fall is leading some green and industry groups to gear up for a potential post-midterm election crackdown by the Biden administration on fossil fuel development. The need for a vote from Manchin (D-W.Va.) on climate legislation has been seen as a reason President Joe Biden’s administration has delayed making its preferences public regarding two major oil and gas proposals that would turn up the heat on climate change: offshore leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and the Willow oil and gas project in Alaska. Manchin is one of Congress’ leading champions of coal and other fossil fuels.

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